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Baylor Medical Center at Garland recently opened an 11-bed chest pain and congestive heart failure observation unit on the third floor. The unit is specially equipped for patients who come to the emergency department with cardiac symptoms, but whose condition does not require immediate emergency care.
“Someone with chest pain may show no changes on an electrocardiogram in the emergency department, but that doesn’t mean something serious couldn’t develop over the next several hours,” says Mary Womack, R.N., manager of 3 West and the cardiac catheterization lab at Baylor Garland.
Instead of having these patients occupy beds in the emergency department, or admitting them to the hospital, they come to the unit for up to 24-hour observation. Hospitalists and nurses monitor them with telemetry, and lab and cardiac stress testing is available right there.
A cardiologist will then be able to make an informed decision about whether to admit or discharge a patient, typically after 12 to 18 hours.
The new unit is another “best practice” inspired by Baylor Garland’s recent Heart Failure and Chest Pain accreditations from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
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