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NCH ACCREDITED as a Chest Pain Center

Acclaimed as one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation, the NCH Healthcare System sought accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular  Patient Care (SCPC) for its cardiac care services, striving to ensure a continuum of improvement in care and efficiency.

NCH’s Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Operations Jonathan Kling, said that in August 2014, NCH was notified it had achieved the accreditation for the NCH Downtown Campus that is recognized as the area’s eminent Chest Pain Center with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). PCI involves balloon insertion to open blood flow to the vessels.NCH ACCREDITED as a Chest Pain Center

While both the North and Downtown NCH Campuses provide exceptional cardiac care and protocols in identifying heart attacks, cardiovascular patient care is centered at the latter campus where heart catheterizations, pacemaker insertions, open heart procedures and valve replacement procedures are performed.

Two SCPC surveyors spent one day interviewing those in the emergency room setting, including EMS partners, physicians and catheterization lab staff to evaluate standards of care in eight key areas with 107 measurement points.

Cardiac services evaluated included those from admission, to procedures, to discharge for chest pain with PCI that is performed in less than 60 minutes from arrival. NCH has hit this mark consistently for three years running.

Kling said that the validation of the order set, established on evidence-based criteria, ensured that proper care was provided in a timely manner and that all points of care or “bundle elements” were met.

“Now, with new standards of care, benefits are numerous: quicker intervention, quicker assessment of a patient’s condition, quicker treatment, less time in hospital and quicker time in opening vessels to improve blood flow to the heart,” Kling said.

“Formerly, to determine a heart attack, our lab tested for enzymes three times in a 24-hour period. With the new standard of care protocols, physicians can determine the presence of a heart attack within six hours of arrival rather than 24 hours. Also measured were the partnership, protocols and data sharing with Lee and Collier County EMS staff. Best practice includes a good pre-hospitalization protocol and relationship with local EMS providers.”

 BENEFIT OF IMPROVED STANDARDS OF CARE
  • Reduced costs to patients
  • Reduced length of hospital stay
  • Quicker diagnosis and treatment plan: 34.2 hours versus 84 hours
  • No waiting in the ER for a bed for those who are in need
  • Improved patient satisfaction
Kling noted that from the start of the accreditation process in Aug. 2013 to Aug. 2014, the length of stay for the patient program was 84 hours. Now the time has been cut to 34.2 hours.

“Previously, after a heart attack was ruled out, you would have had a stress test in the hospital. Now the goal is to try and discharge the patient and do the stress test in the cardiologist’s office. For all cardiac care, patients can now remain in the community knowing their care is the gold standard,” Kling added.

“The chest pain protocol and identification order process is the same at both NCH campuses. If a patient is admitted at the NCH North Naples Campus but found to need cardiac intervention, then we will transfer the patient to the NCH Downtown Campus.”

With an efficient process of improved communication and a process that is streamlined, reducing waste and variability, patients can cut three days off their hospital stay to 1.5 days.

For more information about the NCH Heart Institute and the Chest Pain Center, call Jonathan Kling at (239) 552-7722


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