Covenant Medical Center is proud to announce that it has been reaccredited as a Chest Pain Center with Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) through the American College of Cardiology (ACC). ACC is an organization that offers U.S. and international hospitals access to a comprehensive suite of cardiac accreditation services designed to optimize patient outcomes. These services are focused on all aspects of cardiac care, including emergency treatment of heart attacks.
“We are very proud to have received reaccreditation from the ACC," says Mary Ferrell, RN, BSN, Covenant Cardiopulmonary Services and Intensive Care Unit Director. "This reaccreditation emphasizes our high level of expertise in dealing with patients who present with symptoms of a heart attack and solidifies our commitment to patient care."
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. PCI is a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon or stent to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.
To meet accreditation criteria, Covenant Medical Center has streamlined its 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, Covenant Medical Center has formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to its facility for primary PCI.
Hospitals with this accreditation also serve as a point of entry into the health care system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.
To become an accredited Chest Pain Center, Covenant Medical Center engaged in rigorous evaluation by ACC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by Covenant Medical Center, this means processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:
- Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
- Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
- Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or unnecessarily admitted to the hospital
“It's extremely important for people to pay attention to the early signs of a heart attack," says Dr. Richard Valente, Cardiologist and Medical Director of the Chest Pain Center at Covenant Medical Center. "The sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage there is to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”
Covenant Medical Center’s reaccreditation reiterates the organization's full-range of care for cardiac patients, including emergency department, catheterization lab, a quality assurance plan and community outreach program, along with a strong relationship with dispatch and emergency medical systems. By remaining an accredited Chest Pain Center, Covenant Medical Center has maintained its exceptional quality of care for cardiac patients and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.