(O’FALLON, IL) – The American College of Cardiology has recognized HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. St. Elizabeth’s was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary PCI in January based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
“Chest Pain Center Accreditation demonstrates our commitment to excellence in providing cardiac care,” said St. Elizabeth’s Chest Pain Coordinator Colleen Albrecht, BSN, RN, CEN, CCCC, AACC. “Walking through accreditation gives us the opportunity to review our processes and procedures to ensure that we are not only exceeding the standard of care, but also improving our patient’s quality of life,” said Albrecht.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms. Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, cold sweat, unusual tiredness, heartburn-like feeling, nausea or vomiting, sudden dizziness and fainting.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is also known as coronary angioplasty. It is a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack. Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available 24/7 every day of the year. As required to meet the criteria of the accreditation designation, they have streamlined their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment all the way through to appropriate post-discharge care and recommendations and assistance in patient lifestyle changes. In addition, they have formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to their facility for primary PCI.
“St. Elizabeth’s has demonstrated its commitment to providing the area with excellent heart care,” said Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award St. Elizabeth’s with Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation.”
Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves: completing a gap analysis; examining variances of care, developing an action plan; a rigorous onsite review; and monitoring for sustained success. Improved methods and strategies of caring for patients include streamlining processes, implementing of guidelines and standards, and adopting best practices in the care of patients experiencing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and have organized a team of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and other administrative staff that earnestly support the efforts leading to better patient education and improved patient outcomes.
“St. Elizabeth’s is honored to receive accreditation from The American College of Cardiology for our heart care services. Quality accreditations and numerous quality awards like this demonstrate our commitment to providing high quality, exceptional health care,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Patti Fischer. “I also recognize our dedicated cardiovascular department colleagues, the physicians of Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants and the numerous EMS agencies in the region for working together to achieve this goal.”
The ACC offers U.S. and international hospitals like St. Elizabeth’s access to a comprehensive suite of cardiac accreditation services designed to optimize patient outcomes and improve hospital financial performance. These services are focused on all aspects of cardiac care, including emergency treatment of heart attacks.
About the American College of Cardiology
The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its more than 52,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit acc.org.
For more information about ACC Accreditation Services, visit accreditation.acc.org, or call toll-free 1- 877-271-4176.