Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital Receives Prestigious Chest Pain Center Designation
01/01/2009

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital today became the first hospital in Texas and one of a handful in the world to be named a Cycle III Chest Pain Center — the highest accreditation possible for treatment of chest pain — by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital
Named Cycle III Chest Pain Center

To patients, the designation means that Texas Health Arlington Memorial ranks among the best in the world at rapid recognition and collaborative treatment of heart attack. Nationally, accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers is linked to better patient outcomes and more lives saved, according to an Emory University School of Medicine study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in July 2008.

Starting with the first call for help to 911, medical professionals across multiple disciplines snap to action: Paramedics administer life-saving therapies even before the patient reaches the hospital, and physicians and nurses in the emergency room and cardiac catheterization laboratory begin preparing for the patient before he or she reaches the hospital.

“Every second counts when it comes to treating a heart attack — time is heart muscle,” said Hoyt Frenzel, M.D., medical director of the Emergency Department and co-chair of the Chest Pain Center at Texas Health Arlington Memorial. “Texas Health Arlington Memorial has demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between accreditation as a Chest Pain Center and improved patient outcomes.”

Collaboration between emergency medical providers and the hospital’s emergency department, cardiac catheterization lab, cardiac intensive care unit, telemetry and cardiac rehabilitation unit is critical to the success of chest pain centers.

“We’re innovators when it comes to treating heart patients,” said Kirk King, FACHE, president of Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. “We have worked with local emergency medical providers, who now administer aspirin therapy in the field before the patient arrives at the emergency room door. The responding paramedics also transmit an electrocardiogram from the patients’ home to the ER. Once the patient arrives at the hospital, we perform diagnostic cardiac tests at the bedside, which allows us to reach a definitive diagnosis quicker.

“We are grateful to the City of Arlington EMS for all their dedication and hard work to help us make this accreditation possible.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Tarrant County and across the United States. One person dies every minute nationwide from a coronary event, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The quality of care for patients with heart attacks and cardiac disease at Texas Health Arlington Memorial has continually improved since the hospital began the accreditation process. The average door-to-balloon time — the amount of time that passes from the moment a heart attack patient arrives at the emergency department until physicians have successfully completed the procedure to reopen a blocked artery — is 66 minutes. The national target for door-to-balloon time is 90 minutes.

“When it comes to heart care, our community and our patients can feel confident that Texas Health Arlington Memorial offers the highest level of care that you could expect, not just here in Tarrant County, but worldwide,” said Vinit Lal, M.D., medical director of cardiology and co-chair of the Chest Pain Center.

The Society of Chest Pain Centers is a non-profit international society dedicated to improving the quality and timeliness of care for with heart disease and heart failure.

“In achieving Cycle III Chest Pain Center Accreditation with angioplasty, we have demonstrated our dedication to continuous quality improvement in every aspect of cardiac care,” Frenzel said. “We are very proud of this accomplishment.”

For more information about the non-profit Society of Chest Pain Centers, visit www.scpcp.org.

About Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital
Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital is a 417-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Arlington and the surrounding communities since 1958. Services include comprehensive cardiac care, an electrophysiology lab, women’s services, orthopedics, GI, an advanced imaging center, extensive rehabilitation services, emergency services, health maintenance and disease prevention classes, support groups, and community service programs.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Presbyterian and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.