SwedishAmerican receives chest pain accreditation

The Society of Chest Pain Centers has granted the designation of Accredited Chest Pain Center to SwedishAmerican Hospital. SwedishAmerican received full accreditation status from the Accreditation Review Committee Dec. 8, 2005.

SwedishAmerican is the seventh accredited Chest Pain Center in Illinois and the 189th in the nation.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 dying annually of heart disease. More than 5 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.

According to Dr. Richard Tovar, Medical Director for SwedishAmerican’s Emergency Department: “The Chest Pain Centers protocol driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that a patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.”

The Chest Pain Center at SwedishAmerican has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a 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 the following:

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;

Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care;

Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training;

Maintaining organizational structure and commitment;

Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures; and

Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack.

“SwedishAmerican is very pleased to become an accredited Chest Pain Center,” said Chad Anderson, register nurse and Chest Pain Center coordinator. “To achieve this accreditation, we have developed a culture that is focused on continuous process improvement to optimize outcomes for patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome. Becoming an accredited chest pain center is another example of how SwedishAmerican Hospital is committed to providing excellence in health care and compassionate service to our community.”

From the Jan. 4-10, 2006, issue

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