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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014

News

Forbes Regional Hospital Chest Pain Center Achieves Back-to-Back Accreditations

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Designation Signifies Unique Capabilities for Rapidly Diagnosing and Treating Heart Attack

Forbes Hospital announced today that it has received its second 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.

One of two hospitals in southwestern Pennsylvania to hold this distinction, Forbes was first accredited by the SCPC in 2008.

“We are extremely gratified to earn back-to-back accreditations from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. This designation assures our community that the protocols and processes in place at Forbes for patients suffering from chest pain continue to meet the highest clinical standards, expediting care and saving lives,” said Reese Jackson, President and CEO.

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 having standard diagnostic and treatment programs in place to provide more efficient and effective evaluations of patient conditions as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment for chest pain and other heart attack symptoms.

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

The staff at Forbes worked closely with the Emergency Department, Cardiology, Pharmacy, Internal Medicine and other departments throughout the hospital to meet these high standards. Key areas in which Forbes demonstrated expertise and a commitment to quality patient care include:

• Integrating the Emergency Department with the local emergency medical system;
• Assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly;
• Continually improving processes and procedures;
• Ensuring staff competency and training;
• Having 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.

“Receiving this accreditation is a testament to our team of highly-skilled professionals who work tirelessly to ensure we have all the necessary protocols in place to quickly treat patients experiencing a coronary event, even initiating care while patients are en route to the hospital,” said Jackson.

Forbes works closely with community-based emergency medical services providers to ensure seamless and efficient patient care. The Hospital provided rapid intervention cardiac care monitors to its servicing ambulance companies in eastern Allegheny and Westmoreland counties in 2008. The Philips HeartStart MRX Monitors wirelessly transmit electrocardiogram data from the patient’s home to the hospital, enabling physicians to review the data and, when indicated, activate a catheterization lab team before the patient arrives.

In addition, Forbes Hospital offers a nationally-recognized heart surgery program – the only cardiac surgery program serving Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs. Forbes’ heart surgery program has been recognized by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its overall performance and patient outcomes following a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s heart surgery programs. Forbes is one of just three hospitals in Western Pennsylvania lauded by the Society for having above average patient outcomes and the only one to receive its highest three-star rating for three consecutive years. 

Even with advancements at the hospital, patients must still recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. According to Paul Kleist, MD, Forbes cardiologist and Medical Director for the Chest Pain Center, people tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack.

“The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms. What they don’t realize is that swift diagnosis of heart attack and initiation of treatment can make a tremendous difference in a patient’s outcome,” Dr. Kleist said.

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers
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.

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