UF Health Shands Chest Pain E.R. receives accreditation from international nonprofit

The UF Health Shands Chest Pain E.R. has received full accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Care.

The University of Florida Health Shands Chest Pain E.R. has received full accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, an international nonprofit organization focused on transforming cardiovascular care.

The eight-bed facility, located on Archer Road, opened in August 2011. The emergency medicine specialists, cardiologists and specially trained practitioners treat patients who have low-to-moderate chest pain and/or symptoms of a heart attack. The accreditation acknowledges that the facility can quickly and effectively help patients who arrive with heart attack symptoms.

“These patients benefit the most from an accredited chest pain center where protocols are in place to rapidly detect underlying coronary artery disease that may not be immediately evident, literally saving lives,” said Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., M.P.H., chairman of the department of emergency medicine in the UF College of Medicine and chief of emergency services for UF Health Shands Hospital.

To qualify for accreditation, the facility had to minimize patient wait time, quickly treat patients who present with heart attack symptoms and monitor patients when it is not certain if they are having a heart attack to make sure that they are not sent home too quickly. Today, when a patient arrives at the Chest Pain E.R., he or she waits less than 10 minutes to undergo an EKG, a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart. After the EKG, the patient waits only six more minutes for a health professional to translate the test results.

“That is a huge stride in a facility like this, where more than 50 percent of our patients are chest pain patients,” said Carla Schmidt, the chest pain E.R.

Emergency medical service providers also can transmit the EKG while in transit to the hospital so that the test is evaluated before the patient arrives. With the ability to get information in advance, doctors are prepared to treat the patient quickly, Schmidt said. Additional improvements made to the facility during the accreditation process include: new way-finding signage across the UF Health buildings so patients can arrive at the Chest Pain E.R. quickly; pamphlets and brochures that describe the signs of a heart attack; and increased education for emergency medical service providers and nurses.

For more information on the Chest Pain E.R., visit www.ufhealth.org/chest-pain-emergency-room. The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care provides support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to offer their patients better treatment by providing tools, education and support.