St. Luke's Chest Pain Centers
Advanced Heart Monitoring
Chest pain is one of the most common reasons people seek care at a hospital emergency department. This is why
St. Luke’s Emergency Departments at our Boise and Meridian Medical Centers are home to Idaho’s first accredited Chest Pain Centers, where patients with chest pain receive a rapid diagnosis or are further monitored. Patients whose chest pain is a heart attack are put on the fast track to immediate treatment, while patients whose chest pain is not clearly a heart attack but does require further testing, rest comfortably in our observation unit.
Having a dedicated area for observation and monitoring of patients with chest pain prevents unnecessary hospitalizations for those who are not experiencing heart-related problems. It also allows for a more rapid diagnosis of the cause of the chest pain.
Our Chest Pain Centers are staffed by emergency physicians and nurses with advanced training in cardiac care, consulting cardiologists, and other professional staff. Blood tests, electrocardiograms (ECG), imaging scans, and state-of-the-art telemetry equipment allow staff to monitor heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure, and cardiac enzymes.
The Chest Pain Centers benefit the community on many levels. Not admitting every patient with chest pain decreases unnecessary hospitalization, which reduces the burden on cardiologists and lowers the cost for patients. Even more importantly, the centers reduce the rate of “missed “ heart
attacks, as patients with an unclear condition are not sent home without further observation and testing.
St. Luke’s Boise and Meridian Medical Centers earned full Cycle III accreditation with PCI from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care in 2012. This accreditation reflects that we have demonstrated our expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations. We undergo accreditation every three years. Our Cycle IV accreditation is due in May 2015.
The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care is an international not-for-profit organization committed to leading the fight to eliminate heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide.
What to Expect
When you arrive at St. Lukes Emergency Department in Boise or Meridian with heart-related symptoms, you will first be evaluated by the emergency department physician. Once it is determined that you are not having a heart attack, a decision will be made regarding your need for further follow-up or observation. If appropriate, you will be taken to the Chest Pain Center, a place where physicians and registered nurses closely observe patients for up to 24 hours in comfortable rooms separate from the hustle and bustle of the main emergency department.
After you have been settled in your room in the Chest Pain Center, the emergency department physician will continue to monitor results from testing that is provided. Information can be obtained from:
- Laboratory tests (blood draw)
- ECG (electrocardiogram)
- Nuclear cardiac scans
You will be monitored with state-of-the-art telemetry equipment that provides staff with your heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure. If approved by the physician, you will be given the opportunity to move about your room and hallway while being monitored.
During observation and monitoring, the emergency department physician will consult with your cardiologist or other primary care provider to plan the best course of treatment. If your condition so indicates, you may be admitted to the hospital for further care.
Education and Follow-up
During your stay in the Chest Pain Center, you will receive education on a variety of heart-related topics, such as risk factors for heart disease, healthy eating, and exercise in order to improve your heart health. If you are discharged to go home from the Chest Pain Center, staff and physicians will give you clear instructions regarding activities, medications and any other considerations relating to your medical condition.
All test results will be sent to your physicians office, and you will be given instructions regarding follow-up with your cardiologist or other primary care physician.
Care for Your Heart...and More
St. Luke’s Chest Pain Centers are not just for emergency cases. They are important resources for community physicians who can send a patient to a center for testing and observation if they have a concern, without having to complete a full hospital admission. And the centers also have established protocols to monitor and care for patients with congestive heart failure exacerbation, transient ischemic attack (TIA or “mini-stroke”), pediatric asthma, pediatric dehydration, and pediatric accidental ingestion.
As accredited centers, St. Luke’s Chest Pain Centers meet a wide range of stringent standards regarding staffing, facilities, integration with emergency systems, community education, and more.
How to Contact Us
Boise: (208) 381-2235
Meridian: (208) 706-1140
If you have questions regarding heart-related
symptoms, please call your physician.
In the event of an emergency, call 911 immediately.