More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. It takes special expertise to quickly determine if a patient’s chest pain signals a heart attack. It’s also critical to evaluate patients with chest pain thoroughly to definitively rule out a cardiac event that may still be unfolding. This ensures that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted to the hospital.
UHS has been recognized for the high quality of care it provides for these patients with full accreditation as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. Chest Pain Center accreditation is awarded to hospitals that:
- Quickly assess patients, including those who are at low risk for heart attack or whose symptoms are vague
- Train and equip staff to monitor patients and diagnose or rule out coronary events
- Integrate the emergency department with the local emergency medical services system
- Continually improve processes
- Support community outreach and public education programs
Afzal ur Rehman, MD, PhD, vice president for Cardiovascular Services at UHS, says accredited hospitals have achieved a high level of expertise in caring for patients with symptoms that may or may not turn out to be a heart attack. “Centers like ours use standardized protocols that enable us to more effectively diagnose the person’s condition and administer the right treatment as rapidly as possible,” he says.