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Atrium Medical Center First Hospital in Butler and Warren Counties to Earn Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Middletown, Ohio, November 29, 2010—Atrium Medical Center has become the first accredited Chest Pain Center in Butler and Warren counties. This designation was given by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide. As an accredited Chest Pain Center, Atrium has demonstrated the highest standards of care for patients with symptoms of a heart attack.

“We view this important designation as an opportunity to further strengthen our commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease,” states Douglas W. McNeill, president and CEO of Atrium Medical Center. “We’re extremely proud of the many steps we’ve taken to improve local access to high quality cardiac care – this includes the availability of open-heart surgery, interventional cardiology and now, the only accredited Chest Pain Center in Butler and Warren counties.”

To become an accredited Chest Pain Center, Atrium underwent a rigorous evaluation by the SCPC for its ability to quickly assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the communities served by Atrium 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
  • Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are neither sent home too quickly nor needlessly admitted to the hospital

“The accreditation process required close coordination between physicians and staff in many departments, including the Emergency Trauma Center, Cardiology, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Nursing and more,” explains Joseph Solomito, MD, cardiologist and medical director of the Chest Pain Center at Atrium. “As a result, Atrium has a systematic approach in place that saves valuable time, from the moment emergency medical technicians arrive on the scene, to the patient’s arrival at Atrium and throughout the diagnostic and treatment process. We continually monitor this system to find additional ways we can shave more precious seconds for even greater heart muscle salvage.”

Through ongoing education and collaboration efforts with area Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Atrium Medical Center has achieved best practice initiatives as demonstrated by excellent “door-to-balloon” times—the time from a patient’s arrival at Atrium to the time that the blocked blood vessel is opened in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Saving valuable time, emergency medical technicians can transmit heart monitor readings directly to Atrium’s Emergency Trauma Center, and they have the authority to instantly alert the Cardiac Catheterization Lab team and initiate the plan of care. Activating the team from the field can save as much as 10 to15 minutes.

“Our goal is to be ready and waiting in the Emergency Trauma Center by the time the patient is rolled through the door,” explains Saeb Khoury, MD, medical director and cardiac and peripheral interventionalist at Atrium’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab. “The sooner a heart attack is diagnosed and treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”

This rapid response has reduced the time it takes from the patient’s arrival to receiving angioplasty, an artery opening procedure, in the Catheterization Lab. With the American Heart Association recommending a “door-to-balloon time” of less than 90 minutes, Atrium is proud to have significantly improved this standard.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. According to the American Heart Association, hospitals with Society of Chest Pain Accreditation have lower heart attack mortality rates.

Learn more about Atrium's Heart Care services.