Geisinger Medical Center Becomes First Comprehensive Heart Attack Center in U.S. Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) is the country’s first hospital to receive TheJoint Commission/American Heart Association (AHA) Comprehensive Heart Attack CenterCertification. Already recognized by the organizations as a Mission Lifeline® Heart Attack Receiving Centerfor its ability to quickly restore blood flow to the heart in patients with the most severe type ofheart attack, GMC has now set the national standard for care coordination among hospitalleadership, interventional cardiology, cardiac surgery, heart failure, advanced practice, nursing,life support, emergency medicine, emergency medical services (EMS), care management,pharmacy, and cardiac rehab teams. Every second is critical when trying to preserve heart muscle and function in patients havingcardiac episodes, and this degree of full-team support means patients will receive the highestlevel of care as quickly as it can be delivered. Geisinger engaged the certification process to bring the best possible cardiac care close tohome for patients and members in central and northeastern Pennsylvania – another stepforward in the system’s vision of making better health easier for the communities it serves. “GMC staff has shown they’re ready to treat a broad spectrum of chest-pain patients includingthose who go to the emergency room (ER) with chest pain, go into cardiac arrest outside thehospital, have heart attacks and need blood flow restored quickly, need open-heart procedures,or need advanced therapies like extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for life supportor left ventricle assist device (LVAD) procedures for heart failure,” said interventionalcardiologist Thomas Scott, D.O, director of the cardiac catheterization lab and co-medicaldirector of the Comprehensive Heart Attack Center Certification program at the medical center. Geisinger partnered with The Joint Commission on the pilot program for this new certification inNovember, and a multi-disciplinary team was ready when the commission returned at the end ofJuly for a rigorous onsite review. Reviewers with a nursing background evaluated records for patients who were currentlyadmitted or had been cared for at GMC since the beginning of the year and pushed staff onquality measures including leadership engagement, collaboration with EMS, medical decisionmaking, systemwide approach to quality improvement, performance improvement projects andengagement with pharmacy at the bedside. “Taking care of these patients is a team sport,” said Cinde Bower-Stout, R.N., M.H.A.,cardiovascular quality manager and program director of the Comprehensive Heart Attack CenterCertification program at the medical center. “Our front-line staff are just as critical as ourspecialists as they assess lab results for potential issues, administer pain-managementtreatment, educate patients on what to expect when they get home and receive ongoing care,round with our multi-disciplinary teams and help patients regain their strength with in-hospitaltherapies in preparation for discharge.” Geisinger was also noted for its ability to offer cardiac rehab in both in-person and virtualformats to help patients recover after cardiac events.