Inspira Health Accredited as Chest Pain Center with PCI

Over the last year, Inspira Health has been working hard to increase its already excellent standard of care: This past June, it became accredited by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) as a Chest Pain Center with PCI. 

“It’s been a year-long journey,” said Scott Burlingame, RN clinical manager. “We’ve developed processes, policies and procedures based on the ACC’s recommendations in order to provide excellent cardiac care.”

Much of that care is coordinated and implemented by the Chest Pain Center council, which meets monthly and takes a multi-disciplinary approach. Numerous hospital staff and other individuals are represented at these meetings, including the cardiology department, general medical staff, nursing staff, administration and members of the community. “The council monitors patient outcomes and makes suggestions based on recommendations by the ACC,” Burlingame said. 

Among the council attendees is Thomas Love, DO, director of the Chest Pain Center at Inspira Health Center Woodbury. “The bottom line is that we’re looking to save lives, and these national certifications show that we’re doing our best to continue to uphold the ACC’s standards.”

The connection that Love has with Inspira is not merely professional: Not only has he been an attending physician at the hospital for the last 15 years, he was also born there. “I love this hospital. My father helped start the Emergency Medicine practice, and my mother and sister are Inspira board members. When my family needs medical treatment, these are the folks I take them to. I couldn’t be more proud of the staff here.”

Another important facet of the accreditation process is the EMS staff, who ensure that patients are seen in timely ways. “Good communication is key,” Burlingame said. That communication from the field is facilitated via a program called Lifenet, which allows EMS personnel to send critical information to the ER before they arrive.

“If someone is having an acute cardiac event, it’s critical that we can start treatment before the patient gets to the hospital,” Burlingame said. By following recommendations by the ACC, Inspira has been able to keep door-to-balloon times (time from when the patient gets to the hospital until when the balloon is placed) for all heart attack patients arriving by the paramedic units well below the national standard of 90 minutes.

The director of the Chest Pain Center in Vineland, Eric Blazar, MD, also has been a big part of the accreditation process. The mission is simple: “Our goal is to maximize the process in order to best serve our patients,” Dr. Blazar said.

That means more than just treating those experiencing acute heart attacks — it also means swiftly treating anyone who is identified as at risk of having a heart attack. In fact, the hospital’s most recent quality-improvement project has revolved around just that: “Getting at-risk patients quick care, and getting them proper treatment within 36 to 72 hours, in order to decrease their risk factors,” he said.