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 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.
To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Cartersville Medical Center 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 Cartersville Medical Center, 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.
"People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that's a mistake," states Sarah Demmin, director of critical care services at Cartersville Medical Center. "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."
Cartersville Medical Center's healthcare services encompass the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and include such focal points as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, Cartersville Medical Center's quality assessment plan, and its community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Cartersville Medical Center has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.