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WellStar Paulding Hospital received full chest pain accreditation status from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC).

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal 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 that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

“Our new accreditation as a Chest Pain Center is a testament to the hard work our team has put in to improve heart attack patient outcomes,” says Sharon Amaya, M.D., medical director of WellStar Paulding Hospital Emergency Department. “This is not just another feather in our cap; it means that the community we serve has access to an enhanced quality of emergency heart care.”

The Accredited Chest Pain Center’s 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 or not they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

With the increase in chest pain centers, there was a growing need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. SCPC’s accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” said Teresa Hale, RN, nurse manager of WellStar Paulding Hospital Emergency Department. “The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”

The Accredited Chest Pain Center at WellStar Paulding Hospital has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing an onsite review by a team of SPCP’s accreditation review specialists. Key areas in which an Accredited 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
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
  • Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

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