Springs Memorial fifth hospital in S.C. to be designated a Chest Pain Center

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By The Staff

Springs Memorial Hospital was recently designated as an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

Springs Memorial Hospital is the fifth hospital in South Carolina to receive this accreditation and the only hospital in York, Lancaster, Chester, Chesterfield and Union counties to receive this designation.

"This is truly a momentous event for not only our hospital, but for the community as well," said Angela Marchi of Springs Memorial Hospital. "This is a testament to the quality of care we provide to our local community. While the focus is on our emergency department, this accreditation is made possible because of the work and commitment of a multi-disciplinary team that includes employees, physicians and Lancaster County EMS."

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 individuals dying annually of heart disease. More than 5 million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pains.

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.

To receive the Full-Cycle II accreditation, an on-site review was conducted to examine the treatment a patient experiencing chest pain receives, from response to discharge. In addition, Springs Memorial Hospital's community programs were examined.

"The Chest Pain Center's protocol driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians quick treatment policies and procedures during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective," said Ginger Wirth, clinical director of emergency services at the hospital. "These processes also allow physicians and staff 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."

Key areas in which an Accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include:

- 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 (ACS) 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

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

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 that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers

The Society of Chest Pain Centers is a patient-centric, nonprofit 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 health-care 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 details on the Society of Chest Pain Centers, visit www.scpcp.org.