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Heart Attack
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Proven Treatment Standards

Studies have proven which treatments are most effective for patients suffering from a heart attack, also known as acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Experts agree that these treatments offer the best medical outcomes. Despite strong evidence to support these guidelines, many hospitals fail to offer the treatments.

At Deaconess, the guidelines are top priority. To ensure optimal care for you and your family members, we monitor our compliance with the following standards in heart attack care. View the tables below to see how we're performing in each area.

National Guidelines

See How We're Performing


Aspirin at Arrival

Recommendation - Early use of aspirin for heart attack patients.
Rationale - Blood clots can block blood vessels and prevent oxygen from getting to the heart. Areas of the heart that go without oxygen are damaged. Aspirin helps dissolve blood clots to restore blood flow to the heart.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart attack patients (without contraindications) who received aspirin within 24 hours before or after arrival at the hospital.
95%
94%
96%
 
     

Aspirin at Discharge

Recommendation - Prescribe long-term aspirin therapy for heart attack patients.
Rationale - Aspirin can prevent new blood clots from forming. Continued use of aspirin can reduce the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart attack patients (without contraindications) who were prescribed aspirin when they were discharged from the hospital.
94%
96%
98%
 
     

Beta-Blocker at Discharge

Recommendation - Prescribe a beta-blocker medication for heart attack patients to use after hospital discharge.
Rationale - Beta-blocker medications can reduce blood pressure, treat chest pain (angina) and congestive heart failure, and help prevent a heart attack. They relieve stress on the heart by slowing the heart rate and reducing the force with which the heart muscle contracts to pump blood. They can also keep blood vessels from constricting in your heart, brain and body. Together, these actions reduce risk of morbidity and mortality in heart attack patients.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart attack patients (without contraindications) who were prescribed a beta-blocker upon hospital discharge.
94%
95%
97%
 
     

ACE Inhibitor or ARB for Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction (LVSD)

Recommendation - Prescribe ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor or ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker) for patients with heart attack and impaired left ventricular function.
Rationale - ACE inhibitors or ARB are commonly prescribed for LVSD to reduce risk of morbidity and mortality. These medications stop the production of a hormone that can narrow blood vessels. This helps reduce pressure in the heart, thereby lowering blood pressure. Continued use can help prevent congestive heart failure.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 7/05 to 6/06. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart attack patients with left ventricle function (LVF) < 40% (and without contraindications) who were prescribed an ACE inhibitor or ARB upon hospital discharge.
92%
91%
97%
 
     

Smoking Cessation Counseling

Recommendation - Offer smoking cessation counseling to heart attack patients with a current or recent history of smoking.
Rationale - Smoking cessation reduces morbidity and mortality in all populations - those with heart disease as well as other health conditions. Patients who receive even brief smoking cessation advice are more likely to quit.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U.S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart attack patients with a current or recent history of smoking cigarettes who are given smoking cessation counseling during their hospital stay.
96%
97%
100%
 
     

Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI)

Recommendation - Perform PCI on heart attack patient within 90 minutes of hospital arrival.
Rationale - Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) are among the most effective treatments to increase blood flow and open blocked blood vessels. Improving blood to the heart as quickly as possible lessens the damage to your heart muscle during a heart attack.
How We Compare - The following table shows how Deaconess and other hospitals complied with this recommendation during the period of 10/2008 to 9/2009. Higher percentages are better.

     
 
Performance Measure
U. S.
Average
Indiana
Average
Deaconess
Hospital
 
Percentage of heart attack patients with PCI performed within 120 minutes of arrival at the hospital.
82%
82%
91%