Trinity achieves a new status level

STEUBENVILLE – Trinity Health System has received chest pain center accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction.

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 health care 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, Trinity 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 Trinity, 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.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than 5 million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal is to 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.

The accredited chest pain center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” said Keith Murdock, Trinity’s director of community relations and development. “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.”

Chest pain center accreditation is the gold seal of approval on Trinity’s continuum of cardiovascular services. Trinity services begin in the community with its relationship with 911 and EMS. Local EMS have the ability to transmit 12-lead EKGs from the field directly to the emergency department and the cardiac cath lab. The emergency department is skilled in recognition of the patient with chest pain and along with Trinity’s cardiologists. Quality cardiac care is established immediately based on evidence based protocols.

The Trinity Cardiac Catheterization Lab is available 24/7 to handle patients when appropriate. Open heart surgery for cardiac bypass and valve disease also is available 24/7 with an experienced quality staff.

Trinity’s Heart Center also offers an extensive listing of cardiac services. The hospital’s invasive lab has three suites with state-of-the-art equipment to perform diagnostic and interventional procedures in the area of cardiac and peripheral vascular modalities. Diagnostic labs of the heart center include echocardiography, EKG, Holter monitors, cardioversions and stress testing (nuclear, stress echo and exercise).

Electrophysiology is provided by a team of three electrophysiologists who specialize in device insertions such as pacemakers and ICDs along with cardiac rhythm management such as ablations for abnormal cardiac rhythms.

Cardiopulmonary rehab services are available on site to educate and help the patient maintain a healthy and quality lifestyle.