Mission Hills, CA, August 8, 2006 – Ensuring that heart attack victims will receive even quicker treatment in order to save their lives, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center has expanded its interventional cardiology program for the second time in less than a year.
The Medical Center recently completed the expansion of its original cardiac catheterization laboratory, better known in the medical community as a "cath lab." Last November the Medical Center opened a second cath lab to serve the growing needs of heart patients in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.
"Holy Cross is already among the top 10 percent in the country for treating patients with heart attack symptoms within the first 120 minutes of arriving at the medical center," said cardiologist Samuel Kojoglanian, MD. "With the remodeling and updating of our original cath lab, we can now treat patients experiencing heart attack symptoms even more quickly."
For Santa Clarita residents, this is especially good news since Providence Holy Cross performs more interventional cardiology procedures and open-heart surgeries than any other hospital serving the Santa Clarita Valley. Of the Santa Clarita residents who needed interventional cardiology procedures at the region’s hospitals, 46 percent were treated
at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center during the most recent 5-year reporting period (Source: Office of Statewide Health Planning Department statistics 2000-2004). Additionally, 50 of the 97 patients who needed open heart surgery and were treated locally during this five-year period were cared for by physicians at Providence Holy Cross.
Cath lab procedures have risen dramatically, with more than 1,600 diagnostic and interventional procedures performed during 2005 at Providence Holy Cross, compared to 925 procedures in 2000.
The upgrade of the first cardiac cath lab includes digital flat panel imaging display screens that provide a clearer picture for interventional cardiologists as they perform angioplasty and other procedures to open clogged arteries. The lab also is equipped with a digital picture archiving communication system (PACS) that allows images of the procedure to be viewed by the patient’s primary care physician or cardiologist right in the doctor’s office.
The reopening of the expanded cath lab ensures that one lab will be available for emergency heart attack victims. The faster a heart attack patient can receive percutaneous cardiac intervention – normally through angioplasty and the placement of a stent — to open his/her occluded artery, the more likely the patient will survive the heart attack, also known as an acute myocardial infarction.
Providence Holy Cross is rated among the top 10 percent of all hospitals in both the nation and the state in performing angioplasty within 120 minutes of patients’ arrivals, according to the most recent quality report (Jan-Dec. 2005) by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospital Organizations (JCAHO). The most recent report by the National Registry for Myocardial Infarction also shows that 75 percent of the heart attack patients who came to Providence Holy Cross were treated with angioplasty within 90 minutes of their arrival at the Medical Center, and this is much higher than the national average.
The most recent JCAHO report also indicates that Providence Holy Cross Medical Center has a much better than expected success rate of saving the lives of patients who suffer a heart attack. "By quickly opening the arteries that supply blood to the heart through
an angioplasty procedure, doctors can preserve the heart muscle, and this results in better outcomes for patients," said Bernard Klein, Chief Medical Officer, Providence Health System San Fernando & Santa Clarita Valleys Service Area. "It takes teamwork and a well coordinated approach to achieve these excellent results." Interventional cardiology procedures have allowed many cardiac patients to avoid open-heart surgery. The number of open-heart surgeries is declining nationwide as the number of interventional cardiology procedures, such as angioplasty, are increasing.
Providence Holy Cross Medical Center also has plans to open a special procedures room in early 2007. Many procedures now being done in the cath labs will then be performed in this room, thereby allowing the cath labs to be used more exclusively for interventional cardiology.
HealthGrades, the nation’s leading health care ratings company, has recognized Providence Holy Cross Medical Center with a 5 Star ranking (highest ranking) in percutaneous cardiac intervention. HealthGrades also named Providence Holy Cross among the top 5 percent in the nation and a recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical ExcellenceTM. This study by HealthGrades found that hospitals in the top 5 percent in the nation had mortality rates that were, on average, 27 percent lower than other hospitals, and major complication rates were 14 percent lower.