Heart Attack Prevention

Go to A Chest Pain Accredited Healthcare Facility

When choosing a hospital to treat your heart condition, it is important that you choose one that is chest pain accredited. The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international non-profit health organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as a leading cause of death, began a chest pain accreditation process to ensure healthcare facilities are providing patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) with adequate and high quality care. A healthcare facility that is chest accredited meets or exceeds these quality-of-care measures in its delivery of care for ACS patients, from when the patient shows symptoms to discharge from the facility, and undergoes a continuous improvement process in delivery of care.

Both Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown are accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) which indicates a higher level of emergency cardiac care services.

Key areas in which an accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include:

• Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
• Assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly
• Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
• Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
• Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training
• Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
• Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
• Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

Hospitals accredited by the SCPC have been shown to perform better in the heart attack core measures established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as compared to non-accredited hospitals, according to a national study led by Michael Ross, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine and medical director for observation medicine, Emory University School of Medicine. His findings were first reported in the July 2008 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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