I want to thank Bob Hinshelwood, Daphne Heffler, Dick Tinsley, Dr. Peter Hyman, Tony Derrick and the teams who stand with them, serving to support patient care in the McLeod Chest Pain Center. This includes the staff in our Emergency & Trauma and Heart & Vascular programs, as well as EMS caregivers. Recently, our Chest Pain Center hosted the Society of Chest Pain Centers, in order to review all aspects of our Chest Pain Center and Program.
The independent, external review was led by representatives from the Society for Chest Pain Centers who spent time reviewing standards, policies, procedures and the medical service related to caring for patients with chest pain or a diagnosis of heart attack (MI). The stringent review began with the patient’s first point of health care contact – the arrival of EMS on the scene or with patients who come to the Emergency Room with symptoms. Next, the surveyors followed the patient through diagnosis and treatment from the Chest Pain Center to the Cardiac Catheterization Labs.
The Society of Chest Pain Centers examined the preparation and training of our people in order to measure where McLeod stands in relation to national standards and guidelines for Chest Pain Centers. Specifically, we want to thank those in EMS, Emergency Department, and the Cath Lab – who come together daily as a single team, with a single focus – to care for the patient.
As an evaluation of the effectiveness of the work, the surveyors also reviewed the outcomes of care for the past twelve months. This included a national standard known as “door to balloon” time. This measurement is the time it takes for a patient diagnosed with a heart attack to get from the door of the Emergency Department to the Cardiac Cath Lab, where they undergo a procedure to open the blocked vessel in the heart.
The national standard is to be under ninety minutes, seventy-five percent of the time. We are pleased to report a “door to balloon” time at McLeod of eighty-six percent, exceeding the expectation and requirement of the Society for Chest Pain Centers. This success is the result of teamwork. Our Cardiologists and Emergency Physicians are leading all members of the team – from EMS through the Cath lab – in a quick, clinically effective approach for patient care.
Most significantly, we appreciate the McLeod Chest Pain Center team participating in the voluntary review of our service to patients with heart disease. While our Chest Pain Center has been operational for many years, it is good to submit the program to national standards in order to find additional ways to improve services and outcomes for patients.