September 29, 2008
Chest Pain Center Accreditation Received
St. Petersburg General Hospital received full Cycle II accreditation status from the Accreditation Review Committee on September 29, 2008.
St. Petersburg General Hospital’s Emergency Services Medical Director Henry Kurusz III, M.D., said, “There always is a very real sense of urgency in caring for patients with chest pain. We must treat them quickly, using the demonstrated best practices. Through accreditation, the Society of Chest Pain Centers provides us with road maps to achieve those high standards of care.”
Director of Emergency Services Diane Conti, RN, added that the objective of Chest Pain Centers in hospitals is to focus on early recognition and treatment. “When a patient is seen early, heart damage can be prevented, vessels can be opened and ischemia (inadequate blood supply to the heart) prevented.”
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.
Dr. Kurusz explained that a Chest Pain Center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the 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.”
Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 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. 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 insures centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.
The Chest Pain Center at St. Petersburg General Hospital has demonstrated 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. Key areas in which a 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 and no assignable cause for their symptoms
- Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
- Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training
- 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 St. Petersburg General Hospital
For almost 40 years, St. Petersburg General Hospital has enjoyed an outstanding reputation for providing excellent care to residents and visitors in the St. Petersburg area. The hospital is a Joint Commission Accredited Primary Stroke Center and Chest Pain Accredited Center, earning these designations by adhering to the highest standards of care. The hospital serves patients of all ages with more than 1,500 new residents welcomed each year in our Women’s Center, featuring family-centered child birth services. The hospital also offers an advanced medical graduate education program through West Florida Consortium of Medical Education (WFCME). For more information about St. Petersburg General Hospital, visit our website at www.stpetegeneral.com.
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.