Holston Valley And Bristol Regional Receive More National Recognition For High-Quality Heart Care

High-quality heart care at Holston Valley Medical Center and Bristol Regional Medical Center, which improves lives every day, has been nationally recognized again.

The two hospitals have achieved bronze and silver awards for their heart failure care from the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines program. Bristol Regional also attained a silver award in the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program.

“These awards reaffirm that patients with heart care needs are in excellent hands when they come to Wellmont Health System hospitals and our many offices in the region,” said Dr. Jerry Blackwell, president of the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute. “Our focus is always on delivering the best heart care possible for our patients so they can recover and proceed with their lives.”

The American Heart Association honors a hospital with a bronze award in the Get with the Guidelines program when it follows treatment guidelines in certain key measures at least 85 percent of the time and maintains this level for at least 90 consecutive days. The silver award is given if the hospital maintains this performance level for 12 straight months.

Bristol Regional received silver recognition in Mission: Lifeline because it had achieved 85 percent or higher composite adherence to the program’s quality achievement indicators for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction referral centers for two straight 12-month intervals. The hospital also attained 75 percent or higher compliance on all quality measures to improve the quality of care for patients who have this form of a heart attack.

The silver award for Mission: Lifeline is one grade higher than in 2011, when Bristol Regional received a bronze recognition.

Wellmont sets a high standard for heart care. Bristol Regional excels at restoring blood flow to a clogged artery, accomplishing that in as short as 15 minutes from the patient’s entry into the hospital. Holston Valley has performed the procedure in 19 minutes. The national gold standard is 90 minutes.

Playing a large role in these excellent times is Wellmont’s Level One Heart Attack Network, a coordinated system between caregivers in the field and physicians and nurses at Wellmont hospitals to treat patients as quickly as possible. A key component is for paramedics to perform an electrocardiogram in the field and transmit it to an emergency department so a physician can read it.

That enables a Wellmont hospital to mobilize its cardiac catheterization unit so physicians and nurses will be ready to perform the procedure when the patient arrives.

The heart institute also operates a heart failure clinic, which provides medication maintenance and treatment for patients. Physicians follow patients closely to evaluate the patient’s response to treatment and prevent and treat worsening heart failure symptoms.

These national awards are the latest the heart institute has achieved. Both hospitals have been chosen by the country’s largest consumer magazine among the elite for heart bypass surgery the last two years.

CareChex, a national ratings agency, has ranked Holston Valley’s carotid artery stenting program No. 1 in the nation. The hospital is also in the top 100 in the United States for cardiac care, major cardiac surgery, heart attack treatment and coronary bypass surgery. Bristol Regional was tabbed among the top 10 percent in Tennessee for heart attack and heart failure treatment.

“Heart trouble can be worrisome for patients and their families, but the recognition we receive should comfort them and give them assurance that we bring multiple resources to bear,” Dr. Blackwell said. “We’re proud of these awards but are always looking for more ways to enhance cardiovascular care at the heart institute.

“Our emphasis and commitment to patients will remain delivering convenient, high-quality care with expert physicians and other medical staff at the lowest possible cost with the greatest access. These designations reinforce that sensational care is available close to home.”