AUSTIN, Texas -- (July 12, 2007) -- Seton Medical Center Austin has received full accreditation as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Only six percent of hospitals in the United States have received this distinction.
The accreditation affirms that Seton Medical Center Austin demonstrates expertise in rapid assessment and treatment of cardiac patients, explained Sam Roberts, MD, Director of Emergency Medicine, Seton Medical Center Austin. A majority of patients treated for chest pain at the medical center arrive at the Emergency Department.
"This is really about focusing across the facility on the best care for patients with acute heart problems," said Dr. Roberts. "The Emergency Department, Cardiology Department, Cath Lab, Emergency Medical Services, physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators work together to ensure the cardiac care pathways and quality assurance processes are in place to provide the right care at the right time."
Seton Medical Center Austin met a wide set of stringent criteria and completed on-site evaluations by a review team from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Key areas in which a Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include:
- Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
- Assessing, diagnosing and treating cardiac patients quickly
- Effectively treating patients with a low risk for heart attack and who have no assignable cause for their symptoms
- Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
- Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training
- 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
The goal of the Society of Chest Pain Centers 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.