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Forbes Heart and Vascular Center

Chest Pain Center

Forbes Named Region’s First Accredited Chest Pain Center 

Forbes Hospital is the first hospital in the Pittsburgh region to be named an accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Only nine other hospitals statewide have earned this accreditation. 

To earn accreditation status, facilities must meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and an on-site evaluation by a review team from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Accredited facilities are committed to providing quality cardiac care to patients and have the resources available to do so. 

Accredited Chest Pain Centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures based on improving the process for the care of patients with acute coronary syndrome, a set of symptoms that include chest pain, nausea and shortness of breath. 

“This accreditation shows Forbes Campus’ high level of commitment to quality in treating patients with acute coronary syndrome and coronary artery disease,” said John Balacko, MD, Medical Director of the Chest Pain Center. 

The Society of Chest Pain Center’s accreditation process formalizes and standardizes this elite mark of excellence. To earn accreditation, Forbes had to demonstrate expertise in eight key areas: 

  • Integration of the hospital’s emergency department with the community emergency medical system.
  • Assessment, timely diagnosis and treatment of patients with acute coronary syndrome, including heart attacks and unstable angina.
  • Assessment of patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no apparent cause for their symptoms.
  • Process improvement
  • Personnel, competencies and training
  • Organizational structure and commitment
  • Functional facility design 

Although accreditation under the Society of Chest Pain Centers does not require a hospital to feature a dedicated chest pain unit for low risk patients, Forbes has taken the importance of early heart attack care and prevention to a higher, more specialized level through its new Chest Pain Evaluation Unit. 

At Forbes Chest Pain Evaluation Unit, patients who present with chest pains at Forbes Emergency Department and are found to be low risk for heart attack are kept in the Unit as observation patients for 23 hours and discharged after further evaluation and testing. The Unit features private rooms located on the same floor as Forbes’ Diagnostic Cardiology Department, where patients receive their specialized cardiac testing. 

Forbes Hospital opened an expanded Emergency Department in 2006 and followed in 2008 with the opening of The Ed Dardanell Heart and Vascular Center, which brought open heart surgery to Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs. 

“Employees at The Ed Dardanell Heart and Vascular Center work together as a team dedicated to process improvement. This accreditation recognizes the success of our collective efforts to assure high quality cardiac care for our patients by following best case practices as outlined by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology,” said Teresa Domit, RN, MSN, Clinical Nurse Specialist. 

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. The goal of the Society of Chest Pain Centers is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment. 

The Chest Pain Centers’ protocol driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that a patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted. 

The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is a non-profit international society dedicated to the belief that heart disease can be eliminated as the number one cause of death worldwide. Because time translates to muscle during a heart emergency, the Society bridges cardiology, emergency medicine, and other professions jointly focused upon improving timely, quality care for cardiac patients. 

For more information on cardiovascular and cardiothoracic services at Forbes Hospital or to make an appointment with a physician, call 412.DOCTORS (412.362.8677), or 1.877.284.2000.

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