“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” states Kathryn Lail, Assistant Vice President of Cardiovascular Services at Frye Regional Medical Center. “The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”
The Accredited Chest Pain Center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.
With the increase in chest pain centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. SCPC’s accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.
The Accredited Chest Pain Center at Frye Regional Medical Center has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing an onsite review by a team of SPCP’s accreditation review specialists. Key areas in which an Accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include the following:
- Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
- Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
- Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
- Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
- Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel
- Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
- Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
- Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack