Monday, February 22, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Presbyterian Healthcare became one of the first health systems in the state to receive full Cycle III accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers Accreditation Review Committee on January 21, 2010. Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville and Presbyterian Hospital Matthews received Cycle III accreditation status, while Presbyterian Hospital was awarded Cycle III accreditation with PCI, a special designation for its interventional catheterization program.
Presbyterian Hospital received its first accreditation in 2004; Presbyterian Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville and Presbyterian Hospital Matthews all received Cycle II accreditation status in 2007. The minimum requirements escalate with each renewal, and Cycle III accreditation is currently the highest possible level of Chest Pain Center accreditation status.
The hospitals' Chest Pain Center accreditation means that clinicians take a protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management. This approach allows physicians to reduce treatment time during the early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective. Presbyterian Hospital's average time of 45 minutes to open a blocked artery is twice as fast as the national guideline of 90 minutes, resulting in improved patient outcomes. This system also allows clinicians to better monitor patients when it is unclear if they are having a coronary event - a process that helps ensure that a patient is not sent home too early or needlessly admitted.
"Presbyterian continues to raise the bar for cardiac care in the Charlotte area," said Sid Fletcher, M.D., assistant chief of staff at Presbyterian Hospital and an emergency medicine physician. "Cycle III accreditation is an acknowledgement of the tremendous effort we have put into providing leading-edge heart attack care to our patients."
To achieve accreditation, each hospital had to demonstrate expertise and a commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations by a review team from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
Key areas in which a 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 at low risk for acute coronary syndrome and with 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
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 patient mortality rates by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.
For more information about heart attack symptoms and treatment, or to learn more about Presbyterian's programs, classes and services, visit www.presbyterian.org/heart.