When a heart attack strikes, every second matters. Cardiac patients need a seamless lifeline that offers them the best possible fighting chance for survival. That’s why the American Heart Association developed Mission: Lifeline.
Mission: Lifeline is a coordinated, proactive system of care that turns first responders, hospitals and other healthcare providers into a team that uses proven guidelines and best practices to treat patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome, including both STEMI and non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) heart attacks.
The goal: help save lives and improve patient outcomes, from symptom onset all the way through cardiac rehabilitation.
Mission: Lifeline addresses gaps in care, creates systems where they don’t currently exist, and provides innovative tools and measures to improve the speed and quality of care by enabling EMS, referring hospitals (non-PCI) and receiving hospitals (PCI-capable) to work together seamlessly and accelerate the decision making process while treating high-risk patients.
The American Heart Association began collaborative work way back in 2003 on what would eventually become Mission: Lifeline, after top volunteer and staff leaders recognized gaps and issues in STEMI heart attack treatment. Several years of research and program development led to the launch of Mission: Lifeline as primarily a STEMI system of care improvement process and recognition initiative.
Thanks to the success of the STEMI-focused program, the American Heart Association is expanding Mission: Lifeline in November 2015 to include a module called Mission: Lifeline ACS, which broadens the focus to include all patients who suffer acute coronary syndrome (NSTEMI and STEMI heart attacks). The addition of new and innovative NSTEMI measures and tools will allow participants to close serious gaps in the system of care and better coordinate efforts. Planning is also underway to develop Mission: Lifeline modules addressing resuscitation and stroke care.