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Gateway Regional Medical Center takes patient care to heart in 2013

    With a new CEO and a third consecutive year of recognition by The Joint Commission, Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City, was in the spotlight in 2013. Among its many successes over the past year, being named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by the leading accreditor of  U.S. health care organizations was perhaps the highlight.
    Gateway Regional was recognized for exemplary performance in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain conditions including: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke and venous thrombo embolism, as well as inpatient psychiatric services.
    Gateway Regional is one of 1,099 hospitals nationwide and one of 35 hospitals in Illinois earning the distinction of Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for attaining and sustaining excellence in the following measure sets: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.
    The hospital takes providing quality care to its patients very seriously and is continuously improving its services, especially when it comes to cardiac care and helping educate the community. Gateway Regional now offers a free online risk assessment for heart disease at
    “The program allows a person to go online, answer a series of questions, then it calculates a level of risk for heart disease,” said CEO Ed Cunningham. “We hope that this personalized assessment can provide helpful tips for better heart health.”
    The hospital has also begun the process to become one of the area’s two accredited Chest Pain Centers.
    “We are currently compiling all the data in order to meet the many required standards to be certified for our first time and anticipate certification by the end of next summer.”
    Gateway Regional has also announced its partnership with the American Heart Association in an effort to bring the annual Heart Walk back to Illinois for the first time since 2007. Cunningham will serve as vice chair for the 2014 walk, furthering the center’s focus on providing quality and expedient cardiac care.
    “When someone’s having a heart attack or other cardiac issues, minutes matter,” he said, stressing the importance of restoring blood flow to clogged blood vessels as quickly as possible, from the patient’s arrival, through angioplasty or other necessary measures – a process known as “door-to-balloon time.” According to the American College of Cardiology, the national standard is 90 minutes or less.
    “Currently, Gateway Regional averages a 47 minute door-to-balloon time,” he said.
    GRMC has made a further commitment to providing quality care in a timely manner with the launch of their 30 Minutes or Less ER Service Pledge.
    “Our pledge is that a clinical professional will work diligently to initially see each patient within 30 minutes or less of their arrival to begin the evaluation and treatment,” said Cunningham.
    “We are currently averaging a 25-minute “door-to-doc time,” said Dr. Jeffrey Arendell, ER medical director, “However, the most critical health emergencies will always receive top priority.”
    The community can view the average ER wait time online at

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