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Published on September 23, 2016

Chest Pain Center earns special accreditation

UHS has received full accreditation as a chest pain center with primary percutaneous coronary intervention with resuscitation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

A center with this type of special accreditation can be an exceptional lifeline for any person who may be suffering a heart attack.

Doctors and staff at such a center are specially trained and equipped to monitor a patient when it's not clear whether he or she is actually having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures that the patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted to the hospital.

To achieve this special accreditation, UHS has demonstrated expertise in the following areas:

  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical services system
  • Quickly assessing patients, even those who are at low risk for heart attack or whose symptoms don't at first seem clearly related to a coronary event
  • Continually improving processes, ensuring optimal patient care and supporting community outreach and public education programs.

"More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain," said Matthew J. Salanger, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of UHS. "Our goals are to educate people in recognizing the early symptoms of heart attack, to reduce the time it takes for treatment once they come to our center and to increase the accuracy and effectiveness of that treatment."

Afzal ur Rehman, MD, PhD, vice president for Cardiovascular Services at UHS, said specially accredited hospitals have achieved a high level of expertise in caring for patients who arrive with symptoms that may or may not turn out to be a heart attack.

"Centers like ours use standardized protocols that enable us to more effectively diagnose the person's condition and administer the right treatment as rapidly as possible," he said.

UHS' Chest Pain Center is part of the UHS Heart & Vascular Institute. It is located at UHS Wilson Medical Center, which is also a designated Stroke Center and Regional Trauma Center.

The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care is an international, nonprofit organization that focuses on transforming heart care by assisting facilities in their efforts to create cardiovascular centers of excellence. It is the accreditation services arm of the American College of Cardiology.