In April 2013, BSA became an Accredited Chest Pain Center. To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, BSA engaged in rigorous evaluation by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. Hospitals that have received this accreditation have achieved a high level of expertise in dealing with patients who present with symptoms of a heart attack.
As an Accredited Chest Pain Center, BSA 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 patient with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms.
This accreditation shows the community served by BSA that standardized 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,” states Michelle Fowler, RN, BSA Chest Pain Center Coordinator. “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.”
Bob Williams, BSA President and CEO, said, “We are proud to achieve this high level of certification. This has been a year-long process that included collaboration among our staff, Emergency Department physicians, Emergency Medical Services and cardiologists.
One major part of the Chest Pain Center Accreditation is community education about signs and symptoms of a heart attack. BSA conducts a quarterly health fair where free metabolic syndrome screening (including cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, blood pressure and waist circumference) is provided. There are also many educational booths and presentations about issues related to heart health with a special focus on education the public on early heart attack care.