Parkview Medical Center’s Chest Pain Center is passionate about your heart.
It wants to:
• Show you how to keep your heart healthy.
• Teach how to recognize signs and symptoms of a heart attack so you get help as fast as possible because 85 percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack.
And if you have a heart attack, their nationally accredited Chest Pain Center is ready to save your life and help you recover.
“We’re the only hospital in Southern Colorado to have dual accreditations for our Chest Pain Center,” said Davida Kellam, program coordinator.
Those accreditations come from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care and from the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline.
What does that mean for patients?
It means Parkview is up to date with nationally recognized standards and is constantly evaluating its process and looking for ways to get even better.
For example: 61 minutes.
There’s a nationally recognized standard for the time a heart attack patient comes in the door until a damaged artery is repaired by inflating a balloon or a placing a stent, the most common approaches.
The national standard is 90 minutes or less. This must be cumulatively met 85 percent of the time for accreditation. But Parkview meets the 90 minute limit nearly 100 percent of the time.
In fact, Parkview’s average time from “door-to-balloon” is just 61 minutes, Kellam said.
“We really want to focus on giving high quality patient care to people with heart attacks,” she said.
Renee Elwell, Parkview’s director of emergency services and trauma, helped develop the idea for the Chest Pain Center a couple of years ago.
“The state was looking at legislation to create corridors of coronary care and we said why wait?”
So Parkview – also the only Level 2 Trauma Center south of Colorado Springs – partnered with other hospitals to build corridors of coronary care, said Elwell.
“Outlying hospitals do a great job,” said Elwell, of using “clot-busting” medications when they get a patient having a heart attack before they can send them to the closest Chest Pain Center.
“We think where you live shouldn’t dictate if you live. In Southern Colorado, you don’t have to go to Denver to get state-of-art, cutting-edge, best-practice treatment,” she said.
The Chest Pain Center is not a separate unit at Parkview. It is a set of standards that starts with the dispatcher and ambulance responding to a 911 call to the emergency room to other departments as the patient progresses through treatment.
Kellam said, “It’s a holistic approach. Department leaders come together quarterly to discuss cardiac patients moving from department to department to make sure the entire hospital is on the same page and meeting our standardized patient policies and procedures.”
A patient spoke earlier this year at Parkview’s Chest Pain Symposium and recalled how efficient and fast he was treated, said Elwell.
“The AMR ambulance crew recognized it as a heart attack. We trust when they say what kind of heart attack it is so we activated the Cath Lab before the patient got here. He was treated and the pain went away,” said Elwell.
As the patient recovers, cardiac rehabilitation nurses visit to discuss the next phase – a program Parkview offers to help them with nutrition, exercise and general wellness.
“Part of the rehabilitation is an offsite gym to monitor patients,” said Kellam. “We place telemetry on them while they exercise.”
Less than a year after getting the dual accreditation, Kellam said, “We have definitely seen improvement in care and processes to help decrease door-to-balloon, door-to-EKG times and more.”