Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - SJRMC Receives Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation

San Juan Regional Medical Center is now a fully accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.) Hospitals that are accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care have achieved a higher level of expertise caring for patients who come in with a complaint of chest pain or are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. “San Juan Regional Medical Center is proud of this accomplishment and our commitment and dedication to providing exceptional heart care,” Chief Operating Officer, John Buffington, said.
 
More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people each year dying of heart disease. Coordinating care to reduce treatment time is critical, especially during the early stages of a heart attack, which often includes chest pain. 

Hospitals awarded the Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI designation have dedicated resources to help all types of chest pain patients. These resources include a call team made up of Cardiac Cath Lab staff and an Interventional Cardiologist available 24/7, every day of the year. This team arrives at the hospital within 20 minutes of activation for a suspected heart attack emergency. All team members use an evidence-based, protocol-driven approach to maximize efficiency, which leads to quicker treatment time and improved outcomes. 

“We are able to bring together diverse medical specialties such as paramedics, emergency medicine and cardiology to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may come to us with a complaint of chest pain or experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. This cooperation and teamwork between the departments helps ensure all types of chest pain patients receive appropriate protocol-driven and timely care,” Dr. Charles Wilkins, Chest Pain Center Medical Director, said. 

The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care and San Juan Regional Medical Center’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate for chest pain patients. In addition to coordinating care at the clinical level, San Juan Regional Medical Center and San Juan Regional Heart Center also focus on prevention and promoting a healthier lifestyle to reduce the risk factors for developing heart disease. 

“We want to teach the public that there’s a lot more to health than just treating disease. Prevention is key,” Barbara Charles, Chest Pain Center Coordinator, said. “It’s also important for each of us to recognize the early symptoms of a heart attack in ourselves or the people around us. Knowing the symptoms and calling 911 is critical to survival.” 

By achieving Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation status, San Juan Regional Medical Center demonstrates expertise in the following areas: 
• Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system 
• Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly 
• Effectively treating patients at low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms 
• Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures 
• Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel 
• Maintaining organizational structure and commitment 
• Constructing a functional design that promotes optimal patient care 
• Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack