SAN MARCOS, TEXAS
- On February 2, Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) achieved an important step in the recertification of its Accredited Chest Pain Center, a process that must be conducted every three years. With the help of San Marcos Hays County EMS, STAR Flight, the Premium Outlet Mall and CTMC employees, a community ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) drill was successfully completed.
The process began at the Premium Outlet Mall’s Guest Services Center, where CTMC’s Cardiac Cath Lab Director Bea Tyler staged a cardiac event. She told Premium Outlet Customer Service Representatives Brandy Rollins and Sarah Ferrara that she started experiencing chest pain while shopping at the mall.
“In a situation like that, you really don’t know what to do,” Rollins said. “The training did help a lot as far as trying to keep the patient calm and get information from her. We’ve never had that problem happen here, but I really learned a lot.”
Rollins, who once suffered a stroke herself, immediately called 9-1-1, and an ambulance arrived to transport Tyler back to CTMC’s Emergency Room. There, she was met with nurses, lab techs, medical imaging personnel and Dr. Lee Johannsen to assess her condition. From there, she was flown by helicopter as if being transported in a “real” event. She would have been transported to the Heart Hospital of Austin in the event of a real incident. CTMC’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab will soon offer the same interventional services to happen on-site. Procedures currently performed are heart catheterizations, pacemaker implants, angioplasty of dialysis grafts, as well as tests that diagnose structural heart disease.
“It was a great learning experience being in the helicopter,” Tyler said. “I think that the drill went very well and will help us to improve our care for our patients.”
According to Tyler, the current American Heart Association goal for patient transport is 30 minutes from the time the patient is “in the ER door-to-out of the ER door”. The current AHA goal time for an interventional procedure to be done is 120 minutes from first medical contact to the time the coronary device (stent) is placed.
“Part of being a Certified Chest Pain Center is conducting ongoing drills in order to evaluate our processes.” Tyler said. “Our goal is to enhance patient care. So if we identify an area for improvement during the drill, we make appropriate changes in our processes”.
CTMC became an Accredited Chest Pain Center in 2011 after engaging in rigorous evaluation by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) for ability to receive, assess, diagnose and treat patients suffering from chest pain or other potential heart attack symptoms by immediately following specific protocols and procedures. To the communities served by CTMC, 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
An on-site visit will be conducted by the Society of Chest Pain Centers in August, which will be the final step in the recertification process.
Since receiving Accredited Chest Pain Center status, CTMC has made many more significant strides in cardiac care.
“It’s a common misconception that patients must travel to Austin or San Antonio to get quality specialty care, but CTMC is disproving that stereotype all the time, most recently in the area of cardiovascular services,” said CTMC Administrative Director of PR/Marketing Clay DeStefano.
Here’s a quick summary of recent accomplishments CTMC has achieved to advance cardiac care available locally.
2011 - The 178-bed hospital became accredited as a Certified Chest Pain center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. The accreditation enhanced CTMC’s ability to receive, assess, diagnose and treat patients suffering from chest pain or other potential heart attack symptoms by immediately following specific protocols and procedures. 2012
- CTMC introduced an interventional cardiac catheterization lab that is slated to be offering 24-7 services this summer. Procedures currently include heart catheterizations, pacemaker implants, angioplasty of dialysis grafts, as well as tests that diagnose structural heart disease.2012
– CTMC earned the Mission: Lifeline Bronze Quality Achievement recognition for using evidence-based guidelines to provide the best possible care to patients through the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® and Mission: Lifeline® programs. 2013
- After rigorous review, The Joint Commission and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognized CTMC with Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. CTMC’s Primary Stroke Center Certification has demonstrated that their program meets critical elements of performance to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients. 2013
– CTMC was recognized as a Fit-Friendly Worksite in San Marcos. The Fit-Friendly Worksites Recognition Program is an award given by the American Heart Association's My Heart. My Life. initiative. It recognizes worksites for making the health and wellness of employees a top priority. 2013
– CTMC introduces Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit to continue the progress of patients after suffering a cardiac event. After a physician refers a patient to the program, CTMC’s team leads them through a comprehensive, personalized exercise and healthy living program with an emphasis on cardiovascular health, muscular strength and flexibility.
For more information about services offered at CTMC, please visit ctmc.org
and click on the “Care & Services” tab.
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 700 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families.
In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. CTMC also added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011 and became an accredited Primary Stroke Center in 2013. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.
CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, Adventist Health System is a national leader in quality, safety and patient satisfaction. Today, Adventist Health System supports 45 campuses in 10 states and employs nearly 70,000 individuals. Adventist Health System hospitals are comprised of more nearly 8,300 licensed beds, providing care for 4.5 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.