Mon General receives Chest Pain Center Accreditation with PCI

Posted Date: 7/19/2013

Doctor checking on patient coming into the Emergency Room for chest pain
                Mon General Hospital has become the first hospital in North Central West Virginia to receive full Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC).

                “By becoming an accredited Chest Pain Center, Mon General has demonstrated the high level of quality care it provides and a commitment to higher standards,” said David Lawrence, MD, Medical Director of the Mon General Emergency Department. “To receive the accreditation, Mon General participated in a rigorous evaluation by SCPC for our ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.”

                Mon General received full accreditation with PCI on July 5. The accreditation is good for three years. PCI, more commonly known as angioplasty, is a procedure that takes place in the hospital’s Cardiac Cath Labs to open narrowed arteries in the heart with balloon angioplasty or stents.

                The SCPC is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care. SCPC’s accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

                Many different departments and services were instrumental in helping Mon General obtain this accreditation. These include MECCA 9-1-1 (Monongalia Emergency Centralized Communications Agency) which dispatches ambulances, Monongalia EMS which transports patients and begins treating heart attack patients on the scene, the Mon General Emergency Department, the Mon General Cath Labs and the hospital’s medical staff.

                “People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that is a mistake,” Dr. Lawrence said. “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.”

                Mon General’s state-of-the-art healthcare encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient, beginning with the dispatch of an ambulance. “Most of the ambulances in the area can transmit an electrocardiogram to us,” Dr. Lawrence said. “If we see the signs of a heart attack on the EKG, we go ahead and prepare the Cath Lab.

                “It’s routine for a heart attack patient to come in to the Emergency Department for a few minutes to get stabilized and then go straight to the Cardiac Cath lab, which is the definitive treatment for most heart attacks,” he said.

                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.

                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.

                The Accredited Chest Pain Center at Mon General 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:

  • 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

                Mon General Hospital and Monongalia EMS are both part of the Morgantown based Monongalia Health System.

                Click here for more information about Early Heart Attack Care.

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