Edinburg Regional Medical Center has received full Cycle III accreditation as a chest pain center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

Becoming Chest Pain Center Accredited enhances the level of services Edinburg Regional Medical Center provides to the local community, as our facility has refined heart care processes based on best practices that ensure patients get the treatment they need during the most critical periods during a heart attack, says Linda Resendez, RN, CEO for Edinburg Regional Medical Center. Thanks to the physicians and nursing staff involved in achieving this accreditation, we are one step closer to beating heart disease in the Rio Grande Valley.

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.

Reducing time to treatment in the critical early stages of heart attack is part of Edinburg Regional Medical Centers commitment to quality and overall cardiac care service, says Rose Jimena, RN, chief nursing officer for ERMC. Times of 90 minutes or less can dramatically improve patient outcomes. The Edinburg Regional Medical Center team was very successful in achieving the national guidelines on shortening the time from patient arrival to intervention of blood flow back to the heart for cardiac patients.

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.

Edinburg Regional undertook a meticulous re-evaluation of heart care processes in order to incorporate the industrys best practices and newest models into its cardiac care services, said Martine Acosta RN, and Chest Pain Center Coordinator for Edinburg Regional Medical Center during the accreditation process.

The hospitals cardiac services work jointly with area emergency medical services and other hospital departments to ensure that patients get the treatment they need during the early stages of a heart attack.

The Chest Pain Center at Edinburg Regional Medical Center has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations by a review team from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Key areas in which a Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include:

Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system.

Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly.

Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms.

Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures.

Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training.

Maintaining organizational structure and commitment.

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.