Kent Hospital is seeking approval to perform both emergency and elective coronary angioplasty procedures. The hospital submitted a letter of intent (LOI) to the Rhode Island Department of Health today stating “intent to develop a coronary angioplasty program within one year” and within the next eight weeks Kent will submit a full application for a certificate of need.
Coronary angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is a non-surgical procedure that can reduce or eliminate narrowing in heart arteries. The procedure is the standard of care for patients with heart attacks, must be performed within minutes of the onset of a heart attack and can be lifesaving. Angioplasty is also effective in relieving symptoms among stable patients who experience chest discomfort or angina due to coronary artery disease. Currently, there are three hospitals in the state (two in Providence and one in Woonsocket) that offer the procedure.
“Kent Hospital is an extremely busy and important community hospital that is vital to its large catchment area in the southern half of Rhode Island. Community hospitals, like Kent, need to be able to provide emergency cardiac services for its patients,” said Chester Hedgepeth, III, MD, PhD, executive chief of cardiology for Care New England Cardiovascular Care and the Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Associates at Care New England. “Kent Hospital has made major investments in building its cardiology program in the last four years and is well-positioned to provide this lifesaving program to the community.”
Kent Hospital and Care New England have entered into a clinical affiliation with Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Boston (BWH), regarded as a national leader in cardiovascular services. BWH cardiovascular specialists serve on staff at Kent and Memorial hospitals. The design of the proposed angioplasty program is happening under the supervision of BWH.
“Ample data now convincingly demonstrate the value of acute angioplasty for patients with heart attacks. With proper supervision, equipment and training of physicians and staff, PCI can be provided in the community setting with excellent results. By making PCI more accessible, patients with heart attacks can have treatment earlier and expect to experience less heart damage,” said David O. Williams MD, senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Care New England director of invasive cardiac services.
In 2008, Kent was granted a certificate of need to pursue angioplasty, but the program was not launched because of difficulty in securing on-call coverage, a program requirement. During that implementation process, Kent worked with its staff and rescue personnel around its service area to provide advanced training while equipping ambulances with the latest monitoring equipment to assess patients for the possible need for angioplasty.
When the decision was made in 2010 to suspend the pursuit of angioplasty, it was noted that Kent would conduct a thorough review of its cardiology services to determine the future of the program.
The creation of the Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Associates at Kent Hospital and more recently the expansion of this service across the Care New England Health System, including the integration of existing BWH cardiology services at Memorial Hospital, means patients have improved local accessibility to advanced cardiac care.
Cardiovascular services available now include advanced imaging such as cardiac CT, valvular heart disease service, heart failure and transplant consultation. Cardiovascular clinical trials, telemedicine, congestive heart failure management and a full range of cardiac arrhythmia diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are also available.When appropriate, patients can receive seamless coordination of care at BWH and then quickly return home for follow up care.