Bellin is tops for heart attack survival


A current marketing campaign is aimed at informing the public that Bellin Health is one of the best hospitals in the nation to receive care if you’re having a heart attack, as evidenced by a recent study.

Last August, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released cardiac care data that covered a three-year period from mid-2007 to mid-2010. Bellin was the top in the state of Wisconsin for acute myocardial infarction survival rates and ranked third in the nation, trailing only Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut and NYU Hospital Center in New York.

According to the CMS study, Bellin rated 10.6 deaths per 100 for heart attack patients. By comparison, Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette rated 13.9 deaths per 100 (6th best rate in the state) and St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay rated 15.8 deaths per 100 (20th best rate in the state). The national average was 15.9 deaths per 100.

“The CMS data strongly backs our long-standing position of being the No. 1 choice for heart care in the region. We are seizing the opportunity and letting the public know about it,” said Tom Arndt, chief marketing officer at Bellin Health. “Bellin is a nationally recognized cardiovascular hospital. Our patients, their families and friends deserve to know this, especially if faced with an unexpected decision regarding selection of a heart care hospital that could mean the difference between the life or death of a loved one.”

A series of billboards, systemwide posters and a new radio ad campaign will soon launch in support of Bellin’s efforts to inform the public of the health system’s position as the best heart care hospital in the state and one of the top three nationwide for cardiac care.

In addition to the data in the CMS study, Bellin excels in a number of areas that enable it to maintain its level of excellence in heart care. The health system:

  • Opened a state-of-the-art integrated cardiovascular suite that combines some of the features of a catheter lab with those of a surgical theater
  • Added a team of cardiologists formerly with Cardiology Associates of Green Bay. The group is now named Cardiology Associates of Bellin Health.
  • Consistently averages door-to-balloon times (the window of opportunity it takes to unblock an artery) of 51 minutes while the national average hovers at 90 minutes
  • Offers free or low-cost heart and vascular screenings as part of its continued heart health promotion and disease prevention efforts
  • Works with patients to encourage them to adopt healthier lifestyles consisting of improved nutrition, exercise and maintaining their medication regimen after release from the hospital
  • Maintains a strong relationship with area ambulance crews to make sure the process of providing emergency care uses the best possible protocols
  • Is upgrading its electronic medical records system to enhance the information flow between providers and health care partners involved in a particular patient’s care

“Our outstanding team of cardiologists and physicians continues to provide the top-quality heart care expertise recognized by national agencies like the CMS,” said Kelly Galler, Heart & Vascular clinical coordinator at Bellin. “The team’s efforts have contributed significantly to our position as a top-quality facility for heart care. While we are proud of our designation as one of the top three health systems in the nation for heart attack survival rates, we continue to seek ways to improve our care outcomes and the overall patient experience.”