To promote quality of care and outcomes for STEMI patients and to improve healthcare system readiness and response, Mission: Lifeline believes that a set of guidelines, a means of certification and a recognition program will be valuable to STEMI systems of care.
Guidelines are needed to:
- Systematically organize medical research findings.
- Integrate research into medical practice.
- Achieve uniform application of "best care" across the nation, whether in urban or rural areas.
Guidelines are typically translated into clinical practice in one of three ways: medical therapeutics, hospital-level recommendations and state regulations. View treatment guidelines supporting Mission: Lifeline.
Medical therapeutics are important because they are:
- Adopted by physicians.
- Integrated into algorithms.
- Measured as a standard of quality.
- Used as a basis for insurance approval.
- Used to hold healthcare system accountable for deviation through the possibility of litigation.
In terms of hospital-level recommendations, it's important to keep in mind that most decisions are made on a local hospital basis. State regulations, which vary greatly across the country, do provide an additional means of oversight and can include a certificate of need process.
The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have collaborated to develop an extensive set of guidelines for the management of STEMI patients.
The American Heart Association is also exploring the possibility of developing a national STEMI certification program. Possible program models include:
- Hospital certification for both STEMI-referral (non-PCI) and STEMI-receiving (PCI-capable) hospitals
- EMS system certification
- Regional or STEMI system certification
- View certifcation criteria recommendations
Mission: Lifeline also seeks to commend STEMI systems for raising the quality of care. A recognition program will:
- Salute healthcare teams who comply with the guidelines set in place.
- Motivate more healthcare providers to embrace the Mission: Lifeline high standards for quality care.
STEMI systems will benefit from being recognized by the American Heart Association. An award from this organization, which is both widely recognized and respected across the country, cannot be replicated by other agencies, companies or programs. Compliant hospitals can differentiate themselves in the marketplace because of their commitment to quality improvement and their affiliation with the American Heart Association. View recognition requirements.