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Eisenhower Receives Cycle III Chest Pain Accreditation

In May, Eisenhower Medical Center earned the highest designated Chest Pain Center Accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) and is the only accredited chest pain center in California to be Cycle III-accredited with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention). Previously known as angioplasty, PCI is a therapeutic procedure to treat the narrowed arteries of the heart typically found in coronary artery disease, and is the preferred treatment for heart attack patients. The SCPC is a non-profit international society focused on improving cardiac care for patients with acute coronary syndromes and other heart-related issues.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women all over the world.More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. The goal of the Society of Chest Pain Centers is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

Chest Pain Centers quickly diagnose cardiac patients, begin treatment within minutes and significantly improve the chance of a positive outcome. Studies show that Chest Pain Centers reduce mortality rates by 37 percent.

“When patients come into an accredited Chest Pain Center like Eisenhower Medical Center, they can feel comfortable knowing they will receive a level of care that meets the highest standards as set forth by the Society of Chest Pain Centers,” says Lynn Hart, Administrative Director, Surgical Services. “Our cardiac patients will receive state-of-the-art care during that critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved. Accreditation as a Chest Pain Center with PCI from the Society of Chest Pain Centers means that we have integrated the best practices and processes into our cardiac care.”

In preparation for the Chest Pain Center accreditation survey, Eisenhower gathered a team of cardiologists, Emergency Department (ED) physicians, educators, directors and other staff to develop and write protocols and pathways to meet Cycle III standards. According to Hart, the detailed and rigorous process to attain accreditation required focusing and improving on interdisciplinary collaboration. “The expectations for best practice and seamless care from the Emergency Medical Services to the Emergency Department and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab ensure that patients get the treatment they need in the early stages of a heart attack.”

As the need for Chest Pain Centers rises so has the need to create the standards for improving consistency and quality of care provided to patients. The Society’s protocol-driven accreditation process ensures these centers meet or exceed quality of care measures in cardiac care services.

Key areas in which an accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include:
• Emergency Department integration with the local emergency medical system
• Emergency assessment of patients presenting with possible acute coronary syndrome symptoms
• Assessing 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 facility design that promotes optimal patient care
• Offering community outreach programs that educate the public on the signs and symptoms of a heart attack

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