Hendricks Regional Health Achieves Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Monday, November 2, 2015

More than five million Americans each year visit hospitals for chest pain. Heart attacks remain a leading cause of death in our country, and a goal among healthcare providers is to significantly reduce the mortality rate from heart attacks by educating the public to recognize early symptoms of possible heart attack, reducing the time it takes to receive treatment and increasing the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

By demonstrating expertise in cardiac-related care, Hendricks Regional Health has once again received full Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The accreditation, good through October, 2018, means the systematic, evidence-based, protocol-driven approach to cardiac care at Hendricks Regional Health has allowed the hospital to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack.
Hendricks Regional Health meets or exceeds a wide set of stringent criteria and has undergone a comprehensive onsite review to achieve Chest Pain Center accreditation status. Hendricks Regional Health had to demonstrate the following areas of expertise to meet accreditation requirements:

•    Integrating the emergency department with local emergency medical services
•    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

Hospitals that have received ACC Chest Pain Center accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of 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 promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.
By consistently meeting all of the standards for accreditation, Hendricks Regional Health has been able to improve care for patients and reduce the average door to balloon time to 43 minutes (well below the national average of 90 minutes). Still, the hospital continues to look for opportunities to improve and encourages community members to learn that, when it comes to heart attacks, quick action can save lives.
The American Heart Association notes that most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Signs that can signal a heart attack include:

•    Discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain) in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back.
•    Discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
•    Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
•    Nausea, cold sweat or lightheadedness

It’s important for everyone to recognize the early symptoms of heart attack and call 9-1-1 as soon as possible if someone is experiencing symptoms.