St. Dominic’s Chest Pain Accreditation Team, from Left to Right: Delon Thornhill, Level 1 Program Coordinator, Karl Hatten, MD, Shelia Vuelban, RN, William Crowder, MD, Stacey Ferguson, RHIT, Richard Guynes, MD, and Bradley Burns, MD.
St. Dominic Hospital recently announced that it has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide.
Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation 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.
To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, St. Dominic’s engaged in a rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by St. Dominic’s, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:
- Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
- Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
- Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital
“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” said Karl Hatten, MD, St. Dominic’s Emergency Department Medical Director.
“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.”
William H Crowder, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, Director of St. Dominic's Chest Pain Center,
said the chest pain accreditation is another in a long list of accomplishments in regard to St. Dominic’s exceptional cardiac care. “We are very proud at St. Dominic’s to achieve accreditation for chest pain and heart services,” he said. “The accreditation covers not only diagnosis of chest pain, but also Level 1 and all facets of care for cardiac patients.”
St. Dominic’s state-of-the-art healthcare encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and includes such focal points as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, St. Dominic’s quality assurance plan, and St. Dominic’s community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, St. Dominic’s has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.
“Achieving accreditation from The Society of Chest Pain Centers is the obvious next step in the continuum of care that encompasses the Mississippi Heart Institute at St. Dominic’s,” said Delon Thornhill, Manager, Level 1 Heart Attack Program at St. Dominic’s. “The Level 1 Heart Attack Program continues to make significant impact on building the bridge between emergency medical services, emergency departments and cardiovascular medicine.”