MCR’s cardiovascular program meets highest standards

Two awards recognize hospital’s outstanding care for heart attack patients
July 28th, 2015

LOVELAND, Colo. – Two national organizations have recognized Medical Center of the Rockies for providing the highest standard of care for heart attack patients.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently honored MCR with two of their highest awards for providing an exceptional system of care – from the 911 response to followup care – for heart attack patients.

The cardiovascular program at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland was recently honored with the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center – Gold Plus recognition and the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry-GWTG Platinum Performance award.

While both of the honors are based on several performance indicators, one of the most significant factors that sets MCR’s program apart from others nationally is the hospital’s streamlined process and teamwork framework that results in a door-to-balloon time that exceeds national standards.

Door-to-balloon time is a core quality measurement that reflects the amount of time that passes from the moment a heart attack patient enters the facility to the moment the blocked artery is reopened in the cath lab. The more time that elapses before the vessel is opened, the more damage to the heart, which can have long-term consequences and reduce the chance that a patient can return to a normal lifestyle.

The American College of Cardiology’s national initiative to improve care for heart attack patients calls for a door-to-balloon time of 90 minutes or less for at least 90 percent of patients. In the past 12 months at MCR, the average door-to-balloon has been 40 minutes, and the fastest has been 18 minutes.

“We would not have these kind of results without the continued commitment and efforts of all those staff who care for our heart attack patients,” said Dr. Brad Oldemeyer, medical director for UCHealth’s cardiac cath labs in northern Colorado.

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center – Gold Plus recognition goes to programs that exceed the organization’s high standards for two years in a row. MCR is one of only three accredited Heart Attack Receiving Centers in Colorado and the only facility in northern Colorado with this designation.

This is the third straight year that MCR also has been recognized with the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry-GWTG’s Platinum Performance award. With only 319 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor, the award applauds MCR’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

“The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association commend MCR for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols. The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline-recommended therapy is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients,” said Dr. James Jollis, ACTION Registry-GWTG chairman and professor of Medicine and Radiology at Duke University Hospital.

“These recognitions are a proud achievement for MCR. They reflect the hard work and dedication of the staff who care for some of our most seriously ill patients and their families,” said Rob Wagner, director of UCHealth’s cardiovascular program in northern Colorado. “The implementation of the American College of Cardiology guidelines required successful coordination of the cardiovascular team and emergency personnel and is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients.”

Why call 911 when heart attack symptoms arise?

When it comes to heart attacks, the experts at University of Colorado Health  emphasize that time is muscle.

It’s important that heart attack patients get to a lifesaving procedure to unblock an artery as soon as possible.

It all starts with the expertise and coordination of local emergency medical services crews in the field. They can diagnose a heart attack on scene, send the alert that gets the heart team at the hospital in motion and start treatment while enroute to the hospital.

That’s why the experts advise calling 911 immediately when someone is experiencing heart attack symptoms instead of driving to the hospital themselves.


About UCHealth

University of Colorado Health is a Front Range health system that delivers the highest quality patient care with the highest quality patient experience. University of Colorado Health combines Memorial Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, University of Colorado Hospital and a network of more than 40 medical clinics into one organization dedicated to health and providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. UCHealth partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and numerous community organizations to provide care. Separately, these institutions can continue providing superior care to patients and service to the communities they serve. Together, they push the boundaries of medicine, attracting more research funding, hosting more clinical trials and improving health through innovation.

About the author

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. With 24,000 employees, UCHealth includes 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.