Methodist Hospitals received full Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC).
“People tend to wait then they think they might by having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” states Dr. Michael McGee, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Methodist Hospitals. “The average person 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 the damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”
Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.
An Accredited Chest Pain Center’s evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to cardiac patient care allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack. Chest pain centers better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.
With the increase in chest pain centers came the need to establish standards and adopt best practices designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. SCPC’s CPC Accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists.
Hospitals that received SCPC CPC Accreditation status have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.
By achieving SCPC’s Chest Pain Center Accreditation status, Methodist Hospitals demonstrated expertise in the following areas:
- 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