OLEAN, NY - Olean General Hospital has announced that the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) has recognized Ahmad Hilal, M.D., as a Certified Chest Pain Coordinator. Dr. Hilal is Medical Director of the Olean General Hospital Chest Pain Center.
In order to achieve certification, Dr. Hilal was required to demonstrate enhanced skills in Chest Pain Center team building, process improvement, strategic data utilization, provider education and project management.
Olean General Hospital is preparing to submit an application for accreditation of its Chest Pain Center by the SCPC - a designation held by only 12 percent of hospitals in the United States.
Chest Pain Center accreditation comes after a rigorous evaluation by SCPC designed to determine the institution's ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. Only eleven other New York hospitals have been designated as Accredited Chest Pain Centers.
The Olean General Hospital Chest Pain Center follows the SCPC's evidence-based protocols through highly specialized care that allows for rapid assessment and treatment of patients presenting to the emergency department with chest pain or other symptoms commonly associated with Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), commonly known as "heart attack". Physicians provide a safe determination between those patients who require admission to the hospital and those who can be safely discharged home.
"The majority of people who experience chest pain are not having a heart attack, but for those who are, every minute counts. The Olean General Hospital Chest Pain Center is accessible through the Emergency Department and staffed 24 hours a day by board certified physicians and nurses specially trained to treat patients with chest pain," Dr. Hilal said. "Certification was one more step towards our goal of accreditation for the Olean General Hospital Chest Pain Center".
The Olean General Hospital Chest Pain Center has seen a steady growth since it opened in 2009, with more than 900 patients receiving care. Dr. Hilal noted that 90 percent of patients treated at the Chest Pain Center were safely discharged to home while another seven percent were identified as needing angiography and three percent needed interventions such as stent placement or bypass surgery.
He added that collaboration between the Chest Pain Center, Emergency Department and emergency service providers is a key factor in successful outcomes. "Cardiologists, Emergency Department physicians and EMS providers work closely to ensure patients receive the care they need quickly," he said.
Patients arriving at Olean General Hospital's Chest Pain Center are rapidly assessed by emergency personnel. A cornerstone of the Chest Pain Center, "rapid assessment" involves the use of Olean General Hospital's recently acquired Abbott i-STAT System, which accelerates the diagnosis of those experiencing chest pain and other symptoms of heart attack.
"Our goal is to significantly reduce time-to-diagnosis and treatment, improve safety and minimize patient anxiety. In the case of a heart attack, time is muscle and this test allows for a significantly faster and quicker diagnosis; it's a tremendous quality enhancement. We are proud to be the first hospital in southwestern New York State to have this technology", said Timothy J. Finan, president and CEO of Olean General Hospital.
The i-STAT System uses a wireless hand-held device resembling a large cellular phone which analyzes cardiac troponin blood levels, key indicators used in the diagnosis of heart attack blood. Within minutes after reading the samples, the unit displays the test results. The i-STAT System can reduce test processing time from more than an hour to as little as 12 minutes.
The Olean General Hospital Chest Pain Center team has access to advanced cardiovascular technology, including 128-slice CT scanning, a high-field open MRI, 3D digital echocardiography, and an on-site Mercy Flight helicopter in the event transfer to a tertiary center is necessary.
Dr. Hilal, said he is "proud to serve in a facility where there is a well run, evidence based, organized, protocol driven process for patients with chest pain."
He noted, "The most important thing for the public to know is that if you are experiencing chest pain, call 911 immediately and get help quickly."
Founded in 1998, SCPC is a nonprofit international organization dedicated to reducing cardiac deaths and disease worldwide. SCPC works to bridge communication among all disciplines responsible for providing services to cardiovascular.