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Rex Healthcare Recognized as Accredited Chest Pain Center

April 13, 2011

Contact: Melody Hunter-Pillion
(919) 784-4467

RALEIGH, N.C. - Rex Healthcare announces that it has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation for the third time from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide. Rex Healthcare, in 2005, was the first hospital in the Triangle to achieve full accreditation.

Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in care for patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.

To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Rex Healthcare engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by Rex Healthcare, 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 not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital

"People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that's a mistake," said Joanne Kuszaj, Director of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Nursing at Rex Healthcare. "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 the outcome for the patient."

Rex Healthcare's state-of-the-art healthcare encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and includes such focal points as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, Rex Healthcare's quality assurance plan, and Rex Healthcare's community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Rex Healthcare) has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.