Cardiovascular Care 
Thursday, 21 December 2006 

Delray Medical Center CEO Robert Krieger today announced the hospital’s cardiovascular care teams are exceeding the national 90-minute door-to-balloon goal for coronary intervention.  The results were achieved through implementation of the American Heart Association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM (GWTG) program.

“Since August, 100% of the patients who met the defined American College of Cardiology criteria received percutaneous coronary intervention within 90 minutes of arrival at Delray Medical Center,” Krieger said.  “In fact, the average time has been 61 minutes.  That means we are saving more lives every day.”

Delray Medical Center began participating in the Get With The GuidelinesSM program in 2002 as a means to demonstrate the hospital’s commitment to quality cardiovascular care.  Implementing GWTG helps ensure that the care provided to our cardiovascular patients is consistent with the latest evidence-based medicine.

Introduced in 2000, GWTG helps hospitals close the gap between recommended treatment and actual treatment of heart patients. Hospitals implementing the quality improvement program generally see measurable results.

Recently at an American Heart Association meeting, a study was released detailing many effective but underused strategies that can substantially improve care for heart attack patients.  The American College of Cardiology (ACC), in partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA), introduced a new program to address these issues.  The new campaign titled “Door-to-Balloon” calls for all hospitals that provide emergency coronary interventions to meet the goal set in the 2004 ACC/AHA guidelines.  Research demonstrates that if the time from a patient’s arrival at the emergency room to the time the patient has their blocked artery opened with an angioplasty balloon can be reduced to 90 minutes or less, the patient’s chances for survival and a better recovery increases greatly.            

As a part of GWTG, hospitals commit to follow evidence-based guidelines, enter and track key performance measures, identify areas for opportunities to improve care, and implement changes to achieve desired performance.  This proven process directly impacts the ability to shorten door-to-balloon time.

Delray Medical Center, a 493-bed acute care hospital located at 5352 Linton Boulevard in Delray Beach, has been serving the health care needs of south and central Palm Beach County for more than 20 years. A state-designated Level II Trauma Center for adults and children, Delray Medical Center offers a broad array of specialized services, ranging from acute care to rehabilitation, and psychiatric services to outpatient care.   According to HealthGrades, Delray Medical Center is one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for 2007, recipient of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence for five consecutive years (2003-2007), and the Cardiac Care Excellence Award for three consecutive years (2005, 2006, 2007).   To learn more about Delray Medical Center, visit