Texas Health Cleburne Earns Chest Pain Center Accreditation
07/03/2012

CLEBURNE, Texas — More than 5 million Americans visit the hospital each year with chest pain. According to the National Vital Statistics Report, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the nation. When patients experience chest pain, prompt diagnosis and treatment is important. To help address the seriousness of cardiovascular disease, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne recently earned Chest Pain Center accreditation.

Implemented by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), the goal of designation is to highlight health care facilities that continuously and significantly reduce the mortality rate of cardiac care patients. Health care facilities such as Texas Health Cleburne achieve this by educating the public about reacting to early symptoms of a possible heart attack; reducing the time that it takes to receive a diagnosis; and increasing the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

“Once a patient is in our care, a clinician inquires about his medical history, while a physician performs a physical examination, administers aspirin, and gets an EKG.” said Marvin Cloud, R.N., Texas Health Cleburne’s chest pain center program coordinator. “The attending physician tries to interpret the EKG within 10 minutes and that reading helps recognize a low-risk or high-risk cardiac patient.”

When it is determined that an individual is a high-risk cardiac patient, a specific process is used, and allows for the air transfer of a patient, if necessary, to the Heart Center at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

"We’re simultaneously completing various steps, which include notifying Texas Health Fort Worth Heart Center, activating CareFlite, providing the patient with emergency medication and prepping the patient for transfer,” Cloud said.

Despite Texas Health Cleburne’s efforts to address the needs of its patients, many people ignore the body’s warning signs.

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s the wrong thing to do,” said David Lunow, M.D., Texas Health Cleburne chest pain center medical director. “The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better outcome for the patient.”

“This accreditation is a significant achievement for the citizens of Cleburne and for Johnson and the surrounding counties. And we want to address the needs of our community, even before an individual comes to the hospital,” Cloud said. “Educating the public on heart attack symptoms is key."

The SCPC is a nonprofit international society; and like Texas Health Cleburne, is dedicated to improving the quality and timeliness of care for patients with heart disease and heat failure. For more information about the SCPC, visit scpcp.org.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital’s services include surgery, women’s services, urology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat care. Texas Health Cleburne, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized with the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Cleburne.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.