Augusta Health earns Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Augusta Health has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction.

“In order to meet the Chest Pain Center Accreditation requirements, Augusta Health had to meet eight areas of expertise in the care of the cardiac patient.  These areas include:  the relationship with Emergency Medical Services, timely diagnosis and treatment of patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome, a process improvement program, training and competency of personnel, organizational commitment to providing a high level of cardiac care, facility design and community outreach,” said Donna Hurst, RN, BSN, Chest Pain Center Coordinator at Augusta Health.  “The accreditation shows we are fully dedicated to the care of cardiac patients in our communities.”

Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.

“Being an Accredited Chest Pain Center is an important part of providing high quality cardiac care to our community,” said Mary N. Mannix, FACHE, President and CEO of Augusta Health.  “This accreditation evaluates the entire spectrum of care for heart attack patients—from Emergency Department through cath lab through their care and treatment after the procedure.  It demonstrates the commitment of our staff to provide the highest national standards of care to our local community.”

To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Augusta Health engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by Augusta Health, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:

· Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
· Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
· Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital


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