Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Maryland, its Emergency/Trauma Center team and its Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute team have again been recognized among the nation’s best for diagnosing and treating patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.
Peninsula Regional has again been fully accredited as a Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide. The Medical Center was the first hospital on the Delmarva Peninsula to earn that distinction in 2007. It remains the only healthcare facility on the entire Delmarva Peninsula with full accreditation as an SCPC Chest pain Center and one of just eight of Maryland’s 50 hospitals to hold that honor.
“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” stated Jeanne Ruff, Executive Director of the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute at Peninsula Regional. “The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”
Peninsula Regional also ranks among the best in the United States in the time it takes for a patient to be seen and diagnosed in the Emergency/Trauma Center and referred to the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute’s catheterization (cath) lab for treatment of heart blockages or other heart-related issues. The nationally accepted gold standard is 90 minutes. From January to June of this year, nearly 90% of all patients meeting the treatment protocol were seen, diagnosed and being treated in the cath lab within that all important 90 minute window.
By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Peninsula Regional has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards across the entire continuum of care.
An integral part of this continuum of care includes Emergency Medical System (EMS) crews in surrounding communities who are the first responders to 911 calls. EMS teams, having the ability to assess heart rhythms early and communicating this information to the closest Emergency Department, contributes to the timely and accurate diagnoses of patients. It is truly an integrated service which requires trust among everyone involved in the care of patients.
To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Peninsula Regional engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. For the communities served by the Medical Center, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment, treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved and monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital.
Hospitals, like Peninsula Regional, that have received SCPC accreditation emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.
Peninsula Regional Medical Center is the 6th largest Medical Center in the state of Maryland-by bed count-providing a full scope of services that rival those offered in much larger metropolitan areas. It has received over 25 national awards, certifications and recognitions over the past four years for the safety and care it provides patients and the outcomes they experience.
At over 360 acute care beds, 30 transitional care beds and 28 newborn beds, Peninsula Regional is the region’s largest, most advanced tertiary care facility, and has been meeting the health care needs of Delmarva Peninsula residents since 1897. Its 3,300 physicians, staff and volunteers provide safe, compassionate and affordable care designed to exceed the expectations of the nearly 500,000 patients who rely on the Medical Center team each year for inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, subacute and emergency/trauma services. At 113 years, it is the region’s oldest health care institution with the most experienced team of healthcare professionals. To learn more about the recent SCPC accreditation or the services of the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, please call 410-543-7123 or 1-800-955-0202 or visit the Medical Centers website at www.peninsula.org.
The Society of Chest Pain Centers was established in 1998, SCPC is a patient-centric nonprofit international organization focused on improving care for patients with heart disease. Central to SCPC’s mission is the question, “What is right for the patient?” In response, SCPC promotes protocol-based medicine, often delivered through a chest pain center model, to address the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndrome and heart failure and to promote the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers. To best fulfill this mission, SCPC provides accreditation and education to facilities striving for optimum cardiac care. SCPC is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on SCPC and accreditation opportunities, visit www.scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.