Pulaski Community Hospital
Receives Chest Pain Center Accreditation
CONTACT: Nancy May, Vice President
Marketing & Public Relations
HCA Virginia – Southwest Market
(540) 776-4754 or (540) 537-3475
December 9, 2008, Pulaski, VA – Pulaski Community Hospital announced today that it has been designated an ‘Accredited Chest Pain Center’ by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. According to the Society’s most recent update, only 13 other hospitals in Virginia were accredited as of September, 2008.
“To be one of only a handful of hospitals in Virginia and, especially, one located in a smaller community is a true testament to the quality of care we provide to our local community,” stated Mark Rader, CEO of Pulaski Community. “This accreditation has historically been awarded to larger metropolitan hospitals.” Sandra Emeott, chief nursing officer added, “While the focus is on our emergency department, this accreditation is made possible because of the expertise, training and support of our entire staff.”
Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 individuals dying annually of heart disease. 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 that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.
“The 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 they are having a coronary event,” said Emeott. Such observation helps ensure that a patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted. With the rise of Chest Pain Centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. The Society’s accreditation process ensures centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.
To coincide with the accreditation, the hospital has implemented the practice of bedside cardiac markers, a blood test that can determine if a patient is having a heart attack by showing an elevation in cardiac specific enzymes. “Since implementing bedside cardiac markers, we have our lab results in less than 20 minutes, shaving 40 minutes off the one hour that it used to take when blood samples were sent to the lab,” stated Emeott.
To receive the accreditation, the Chest Pain Center at Pulaski Community Hospital had to demonstrate its expertise and 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. Among eight key areas that a Chest Pain Center has to demonstrate expertise are integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system; assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly; and ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training.
About Pulaski Community Hospital and HCA Virginia
Pulaski Community Hospital is a member of HCA Virginia, a family of hospitals and outpatient centers that share a single priority: putting patients first. Other HCA hospitals located in Southwest Virginia include Lewis-Gale Medical Center, Montgomery Regional Hospital, and Alleghany Regional Hospital. Throughout the Commonwealth, HCA Virginia’s facilities are located in central, southwest and northern Virginia. In 2007, its 13,600 employees treated 1.2 million patients and provided $106 million in free charity care. In addition, our network paid $113 million in taxes and donated $3 million to local nonprofit organizations in our communities.
About the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC)
The Society of Chest Pain Centers is a patient centric non-profit international professional organization focused upon improving care for patients with acute coronary syndromes and other related maladies. Established in 1998, the Society is dedicated to patient advocacy and focusing on ischemic heart disease. Central to its mission is the question, “What is right for the patient?” In answer, the Society promotes protocol based medicine, often delivered through a Chest Pain Center model to address the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, and to promote the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers. To best fulfill this mission, the Society of Chest Pain Centers provides accreditation to facilities striving for optimum Chest Pain Center care. SCPC is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on the Society of Chest Pain Centers visit www.scpcp.org, or contact Robert Lipetz, Executive Director at (614) 442-5950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.