NHRMC Receives Chest Pain Center Accreditation

July 20, 2015

WILMINGTON, N.C. ― New Hanover Regional Medical Center has received accreditation as a Chest Pain Center for its evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to cardiac patient care that allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack.

NHRMC received full Chest Pain Center with PCI Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). PCI, or Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, is the designation specific to stent placement or coronary artery angioplasty for cardiac patients.

“Being an accredited Chest Pain Center means NHRMC is working to achieve the highest level of care for patients with heart attack symptoms. This recognition means physicians and staff are able to accurately and efficiently monitor and treat patients so they get the best care possible when having early signs of a heart attack,” said Janet DeLucca, NHRMC administrator of cardiac services.

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.

“We know what a devastating effect a heart attack can have on a patient. Preventing heart disease and responding to chest pain quickly and appropriately saves lives and is a priority for all of us,” says James R. Harper Jr., MD, FACC, medical director of the Chest Pain Center.

Chest pain centers better monitor patients when it is not clear whether a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

“Physicians, staff and emergency responders at NHRMC have continuously worked to achieve the highest level of standards and practices which have directly resulted in this recognition. The Chest Pain Center accreditation means patients coming to NHRMC will be treated with the finely tuned expertise of a team that is constantly working to improve cardiac care,” said David Parks, vice president of cardiac and clinical support services at NHRMC.

SCPC’s CPC Accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists. Hospitals that received SCPC CPC Accreditation status have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.

By achieving SCPC’s Chest Pain Center with PCI Accreditation status, New Hanover Regional Medical Center has demonstrated expertise in the following areas:

• 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

• Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures

• Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel

• 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

About the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care

The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) is an international nonprofit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create cardiovascular centers of excellence that deliver quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to effectively reduce variations of care and bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to improve patient outcomes.

For more information on SCPC’s accreditation and certification opportunities, visit www.scpc.org. For more information on NHRMC, visit www.nhrmc.org.