Time is of critical importance in the event of a heart attack.
The good news is you don't have far to go to receive the best cardiac care in Georgia.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center has been ranked No. 1 cardiac care hospital in Georgia for the seventh year in a row.
"It's very exciting. It's one thing to achieve this status once but to do it seven years in a row is phenomenal," said Carol Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
The ranking comes from a HealthGrades survey. The survey ranked the hospital among the top 5 percent in the nation.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center was ranked No. 1 in overall cardiac services, cardiac surgery, non-surgical cardiology services and coronary interventional procedures.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center is one of only six hospitals to be ranked No. 1 in each cardiac category.
Burrell complimented the physicians and nurses of the cardiology department by saying "They have certainly set the bar high."
Dr. Jeffrey Marshall, an interventional cardiologist, said the success is because of the hard work and dedication of the hospital staff.
"It's not about bricks and mortar; it's about people who are dedicated," Marshall said.
HealthGrades releases the results of a nationwide survey of nearly 5,000 hospitals annually. It bases its findings on information that hospitals are required to submit to the federal government.
The study awards star ratings based on patient death and complications rates. A five-star rating means those rates are significantly lower than the national average.
"We've been very blessed," Burrell said.
Marshall said not only does Northeast Georgia Medical Center boast a state-of-the-art facility, but it is one of very few hospitals in the country to research and practice robotic angeopathy trials and other trials.
"We have very professional, very dedicated, very bright people in cardiac and cardiac surgery areas, it's no secret," Marshall said.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center was given a five-star rating for coronary bypass surgery, valve replacement surgery, treatment of heart attacks and treatment of heart failure.
"We've created a culture that is extremely effective and they love what they do, and they love taking care of people with heart disease," Marshall said.