Atlanta, Ga. (July 26, 2013) – All five of Piedmont Healthcare’s hospitals have achieved accreditation as Chest Pain Centers 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.
“Time is muscle when it comes to matters of the heart,” said Sidney Kirschner, president and CEO of Piedmont Heart. “The quicker patients are treated, the better the outcome. Our patients can rest assured knowing that regardless of which Piedmont hospital they go to, they’re in the best hands.”
To become an accredited Chest Pain Center, all five hospitals were evaluated by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by Piedmont, 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
Hospitals with Chest Pain Center accreditation 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.
Someone suffers a heart attack every 34 seconds, according to the American Heart Association. Warning signs include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, discomfort or pain in one or both arms, neck, back, stomach or jaw. Women should also look out for a feeling of pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest.
“When people think of heart attacks, they immediately think of chest pain,” said Chuck Ballard, M.D., Piedmont Heart. “This isn’t always the case, especially for women. Feelings of nausea, lightheadedness, jaw pain, and upper back pain are also quite common. When patients come to a Piedmont hospital for heart attack care, they know the same level of care will be provided because of this accreditation.”
For more information or to assess your own risk for a heart attack with a simple quiz, visit piedmontheart.org.