HARKER HEIGHTS — Seton Medical Center Harker Heights recently received full Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, signifying that the hospital meets strict standards in cardiovascular care.
“The standards that are required to achieve this designation are the most rigorous standards in the cardiology industry and require that our team perform at the nation’s highest level of quality for each and every patient,” said Seton CEO and president Matt Maxfield.
Some of the areas of expertise measured during the accreditation process include integrating the hospital’s emergency department with the local emergency medical system; assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly; ensuring competence and training of personnel; and continually seeking to improve procedures.
Mitch Simons, director of the Seton Heart and Vascular Center, said receiving the accreditation will not change how the hospital operates, but will add to the community’s confidence in the quality of care they can count on at Seton.
The standards “ensure nothing is missed on each of these patients, that way you have the same continuity and care across the board. It’s just increasing the level of care,” Simons said.
The hospital’s cardiovascular team has worked to receive the accreditation for almost two years, said Chief Nursing Officer Pam Craig.
“There were over 300 standards designed to provide quality cardiac care for patients ranging from those with mild chest pain to those having a full-blown heart attack. The process of achieving the accreditation facilitated our implementation of the multiple standards and made us an even better facility. We are so proud of this accreditation because we believe our patients will benefit from it,” Craig said.
Because heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, one of the key goals of accredited chest pain centers is to reduce the time between symptoms and treatment, in hopes of reducing mortality rates among patients.
“If you come in with a chest pain, whatever it is, if it’s the low-risk, non-cardiac, if it’s the high-risk severe heart attack, we’ve got the protocols in place. They’re proven protocols that work, which is what the accreditation center wants to do,” said Seton cardiologist Richard Olstein.
“We’re ready to take care of people. We’re on call 24/7, everyone knows what to do, and it’s a big deal so that people can get good cardiac care, fast cardiac care, and if what they need is not available in the local area, we’ve got the routes to send them wherever they need to be,” Olstein said.