Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center Earns Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Hazard, Ky., June 29, 2010 – In recognition of its level of expertise in caring for patients who arrive in its emergency department with chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack, the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center has earned Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide.

Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They 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.

To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Hazard ARH engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the communities served by Hazard ARH, 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
· 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

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” says Hazard ARH Cardiologist Vidya Yalamanchi, MD. “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.”

“The state-of-the-art healthcare encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and includes such focal points as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, our medical center’s quality assurance plan, and community outreach program,” Dr. Yalamanchi says. “By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Hazard ARH has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.”

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