When it comes to heart attacks, time is everything; mere minutes can often mean the difference between life or death. So, knowing the location of the nearest accredited chest pain center can save a patient’s life.
Leading the Northshore and the state, St. Tammany Health System has earned Chest Pain Accreditation by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Accreditation Services and earns high marks with 97 percent of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients receiving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) -- which opens blocked blood vessels and restores blood flow to the heart -- within 90 minutes of arrival or less.
St. Tammany Health System leads the way in cardiac care in the region, with the latest cath and peripheral labs, state-of-the-art operating suites, certified cardiac rehab, Coumadin clinic and active staff relationships with the region’s leading cardiology and cardiovascular specialists.
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. One of the ACC's goals 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.
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.
With the increase in chest pain centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. SCPC’s accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.
The Accredited Chest Pain Center at St. Tammany Health System has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing an onsite review by a team of ACC’s accreditation review specialists. Key areas in which an Accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include the following:
- Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
- Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
- Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
- Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
- Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel
- 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
- EHAC (Early Heart Attack Care). This brochure informs and teaches you to recognize the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of calling 911.
- Hands-only CPR. This brochure explains what to do in a cardiac arrest emergency and the effectiveness of how this could save one's life.