Chest painMore than five million Americans visit hospital emergency rooms every year for chest pain. Some causes are mild and inconvenient while others are serious and potentially life threatening. 
 
Hartford Hospital's Chest Pain Center is a short-stay evaluation center where highly trained staff in cardiac care provides thorough assessment, diagnosis and treatment to patients experiencing unexplained chest pain and heart attack symptoms. 
 
The Chest Pain Center screens for the entire spectrum of coronary heart disease -- heart attack, cardiac ischemia, latent coronary disease and risk factors. Patients who have an urgent cardiac status are triaged to the appropriate cardiac unit. Lower risk patients whose status is unclear are admitted to the Chest Pain Center for close observation, while those whose chest pain is a non-cardiac emergency are safely discharged. The goal is to minimize the time it takes to treat a patient experiencing a potential cardiac emergency.

Some paramedics can now administer an electrocardiogram when arriving at the site of the patient. These results are immediately and securely transmitted to the Chest Pain Center. If a patient is suffering from a severe heart attack, a system-wide response will begin at the Hospital prior to the patient’s arrival, ensuring the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is briefed on and prepared for the patient’s emergency. Emergency cardiac treatment will begin instantly when the patient arrives at the hospital.

Dual-Accredited Chest Pain Center

In November, 2015, Hartford Hospital’s Chest Pain Center was the first hospital in New England and the fourth in the country to receive dual accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care in Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (commonly known as coronary angioplasty) and Resuscitation.

An Accredited Chest Pain Center’s (CPC) evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to cardiac patient care allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack. Accredited facilities better monitor patients when it is not initially clear whether or not a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

SCPC’s CPC Accreditation process came about as greater numbers of facilities in the United States sought to establish standards and adopt best practices in the quality of care provided to patients experiencing chest pain. SCPC’s CPC Accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists. Hospitals that receive SCPC CPC Accreditation status have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who present 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 healthcare 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.

For more information on SCPC’s accreditation and certification opportunities, visit www.scpc.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.