Dr. Ray Bahr is more than just the Founder of ACC Accreditation Services. His Early Heart Attack Care program is a benchmark of community outreach and education for heart disease.
Q: EHAC just passed one million pledges ... why is that number so significant?
A: Because the growth of the EHAC message by thousands is heading in the direction of viral growth to millions. It is taking off before our eyes. It is a message that all Americans need to know to protect their heart by being tuned in for early signs of heart trouble. Becoming deputized into the EHAC message allows all of us to take action.
Q: And with this momentum, where is EHAC going?
A: Nationwide ... so that one day everyone in America will know what to do when they have the onset of chest discomfort symptoms that keep coming back. We want them to think, "This could be the start of something BIG ... I need to protect my heart, because my family depends on me, and I'd rather be safe and not sorry."
Q: How can people help it go nationwide?
A: By understanding the EHAC message and helping to spread the online course. They can pass the test and become deputized into action by taking the pledge to become involved. Deputized EHAC experts know to stay involved until the person with the early symptoms is checked out in the hospital.
Q: Great, so what can ACC Accredited hospitals do now to accelerate this program?
A: By finding out their hospital's internet service that has online competency programs and adding the EHAC module from dha.acc.org. Also, it is a required course for all hospital employees, as it is for Chest Pain Center Accreditation. In a 400-bed hospital this amounts to about 2,000-3,000 employees.
Q: What about community programs or involvement?
A: As hospitals set up Chest Pain Centers to deliver EHAC, the next step is to teach their employees why there is a Chest Pain Center in their Emergency Department. Then they will be able to teach people in their community about the EHAC way to save lives. We are asking each Accredited Chest Pain Center to teach 500-1000 people annually in the local community. This can easily be done by using the short course. The community approach can be enhanced by setting up EHAC training in the schools in the community around the hospital.
Q: So, EHAC isn't just for the hospital anymore? It can go out into the community?
A: You got it! We must move the message beyond the hospital doors. This strategy is easily accomplished without any new funding ... just working with the right people with the right idea at the right time.
Q: What's the ultimate goal?
A: The ultimate goal is to change the culture of America and have 300 million Americans thinking about how they can become involved earlier when it comes to heart attacks. Only then can we begin to think about reducing significantly the heart attack death rate in the United States. Our mission is slowly but surely becoming a reality!
Q: So what should everyone know…the basics?
A: To save a life, overcome the resistance and struggles that the patient may throw up to avoid not going to the hospital.
Q: Yes, but how do you do that?
A: The ideal approach to intervention can be recalled through a simple acronym: SPICE which stands for: simple, persistent,
influential, calm, empathetic
Q: So do all that, but take action, don't wait?
A: Do not take the time to attempt an evaluation. Get them to medical care as soon as possible. Find out what they need . To be a saver, the bystander needs to interrupt their day to save the life of another … and what could be a better use of someone's time than that?