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The first accredited Chest Pain ER in the Midlands.
Palmetto Health Richland led the way, receiving full Cycle II accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers on Feb. 7, 2008, by demonstrating its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations by the Society's review team.
The 10,500-square-foot Chest Pain ER functions as a rule-out area for patients who are experiencing chest pain. The unit includes 20 observation rooms and four treatment beds for special outpatient procedures and is fully monitored with telemetry monitors. Each room is equipped with a television and a stretcher designed for more comfortable stays.
The unit also is used for patients who need short-term observation without admission, including those with asthma and congestive heart failure.
After consultation by a cardiologist, patients who have presented to the Emergency Department with chest pain can be transferred to the Chest Pain ER for up to 23-hour observation. Rule-outs are done using a rapid rule-out protocol. As an added benefit, all varieties of stress tests are available seven days a week to help increase the speed of this protocol. Patients can expect the course of treatment and tests to take about 12-18 hours — the average time involved — which is necessary to fully rule out a cardiac event. Once the protocol is completed, the cardiologist will read the stress tests and decide if further work-up is necessary.
“Chest Pain ERs were developed because of the tradition of admitting large numbers of patients with chest pain to Coronary Care Units or telemetry units to rule out myocardial infarction,” said Dr. Troy Privette, emergency medicine physician and medical director of the unit. “Having this unit ensures that patients get the appropriate level of care in a shorter period of time without an inpatient hospital stay if it’s not warranted. The Chest Pain ER also is better suited than the Emergency Department for longer term patient care.”
The Chest Pain ER benefits the community by:
- Providing optimal efficiency in managing the large number of patients who present to the Emergency Department with chest pain.
- Reducing the number of patients waiting in the Emergency Department for telemetry beds.
- Increasing patient flow and decreasing wait time for emergent patients.
- Improving utilization of Coronary Care Unit and telemetry beds.