Mercy Hospital St. Louis Honored for Quality Heart Care

July 9, 2015

ST. LOUIS – Mercy Hospital St. Louis has been honored by the American College of Cardiology in partnership with the American Heart Association for high quality heart care. It’s one of only 78 hospitals nationwide to receive the American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry ACTION Registry–GWTG (Get with the Guidelines) Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2015.

The award recognizes Mercy’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that it has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

Mercy Hospital St. Louis recently completed a two-year collaborative rework of the STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction) process. The new system allows the team to treat heart attack patients faster than ever thanks to fewer redundancies and improved collaboration between first responders, the rapid access team, the emergency department and catheterization lab.

At Mercy, the unique system of notification with first responders makes a real difference. Once first responders recognize a STEMI, they call Mercy Rapid Access to activate the team before reaching the hospital. This is just one of the time- and heart-saving steps in the collaborative process that enables caregivers to take steps in tandem rather than sequentially.

To receive the ACTION Registry–GWTG Gold Performance Achievement Award, Mercy St. Louis consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the ACTION Registry–GWTG for eight consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90 percent for specific performance measures. Full participation in the registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

“This award reflects the incredible hard work, dedication and coordination of our cardiovascular team and emergency personnel at Mercy St. Louis and is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes for heart attack patients,” said Dr. Tim Schloss, section chief of interventional cardiology at Mercy Clinic Heart and Vascular.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that over 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival and discharge, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

ACTION Registry–GWTG is a partnership between the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association with partnering support from the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. ACTION Registry-GWTG empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-risk heart attack patients.

The American College of Cardiology is a 49,000-member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit


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