Cardiac Action Plan

When it comes to heart attacks, you need to get the right treatment fast.

Our emergency team was challenged to integrate the healthcare industry’s most successful practices and newest paradigms into our cardiac care processes, in order to provide more efficient and effective evaluation and more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms.

The Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital team has drilled down into every aspect of the care, from the signage on the street and how effectively it directs someone with chest pain into the ER, to how quickly a heart attack victim is moved from the front door to the cath lab.

Nacogdoches Memorial ensures that patients who arrive at the hospital complaining of chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack receive the treatment necessary during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved. The hospital works to educate our community about the symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of getting medical attention quickly.

The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of cardiac symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient. Speedy response time saves heart muscle.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. Nacogdoches Memorial’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

Nacogdoches Memorial’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

Key areas in which Nacogdoches Memorial has demonstrated expertise include the following:

  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
  • Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
  • Ensuring the competence and training of personnel
  • Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
  • Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack


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