Published on August 17, 2016

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.”

About Parkview Medical Center

Founded in 1923, Parkview Health System in Pueblo, Colorado, offers general acute healthcare and health specialty services. As a private, non-profit organization, Parkview is licensed for 350 beds and provides a full range of healthcare services including a verified Level III Trauma Center along with exceptional comprehensive cardiac and orthopedic care. Parkview Health System is the leader in all service lines in our service area. As a vital healthcare source, Parkview’s service area includes Pueblo County and 14 surrounding counties, which together represent 370,000 total lives.

Parkview Health System is the largest non-government, nonprofit, private sector employer in Pueblo County with approximately 3,000 employees and provides a skilled medical staff of over 370 physicians. The impact of our workforce triggers a strong impact on the community as Parkview’s annual payroll contributes $232 million to the economy.