Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. The SCPC is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence. The effort is part of a holistic approach that brings together quality, cost and patient satisfaction.
Heart Disease is 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. Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a high level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. Saint Alphonsus emphasizes 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.
“People tend to delay coming to the ER when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” said Dr. Mark Parent, Medical Director of the Saint Alphonsus Heart Care Program. “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.”
To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center engaged in 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 Saint Alphonsus, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:
- Quicker treatment for patients
- Treating patients more quickly specifically 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