Healthy Living: Local News
Baptist Health Paducah's chest pain center earns highest national accreditation
Story Updated: Oct 22, 2013
PADUCAH — Baptist Health Paducah Hospital is the first in the region to obtain the highest level of national accreditation as a chest pain center.
Following its initial accreditation in 2008, Baptist Health Paducah now has been named a Cycle III Chest Pain Center with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) designation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
The Society developed three levels of accreditation, with each level featuring increased expectations for treatment of chest pain. PCI, also known as angioplasty, is a stent procedure used to open clogged arteries.
The three-year accreditation recognizes Baptist’s efficiency in treating chest pain, a symptom causing more than 5 million Americans to enter emergency departments each year.
“This accreditation is a seal of approval that tells the community that Baptist Health Paducah continues to provide the very best possible care for heart attack patients,” said Larry Barton, president and CEO of Baptist Health Paducah. “It also is a statement of commitment that the hospital will continue to take an innovative approach to treating heart disease.”
Teresa Cash, R.N., director of cardiology services, said the national recognition bridges cardiology, emergency medicine and other professions focused on improving care for patients with acute coronary syndromes and acute heart failure. “We have worked with EMS agencies throughout the area to increase the number of ambulances that can transmit EKGs from ambulances into the Emergency department,” she said. “That saves valuable time with the chest pain team ready to treat as soon as the patient arrives.”
Following protocols for heart attack patients reduces the time it takes for treatment during the early critical phase. “Time saved is crucial to save heart muscle,” she said.
Chest Pain Center coordinator Tammy Brown, R.N., said the hospital also developed a cardiac alert system to improve care for patients who may experience chest pains while they are already in the hospital.
“We wanted to make sure an inpatient with chest pain receives the same kind of care as someone who comes in off the street to the Emergency department,” Brown said.
Baptist Health Paducah operates a seven-bed Chest Pain Center 24 hours a day in the Emergency department. The dedicated staff includes registered nurses with additional training in acute coronary syndrome and cardiac care.
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