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Washington Regional First in Arkansas to Receive Accreditation as Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation

Washington Regional Medical Center recently became the first hospital in Arkansas to receive full accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care as a Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation.

An Accredited Chest Pain Center’s evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to cardiac patient care allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack. Chest Pain Centers are better equipped to 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 to the hospital.

Washington Regional has been an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) since 2010, but achieving the Resuscitation designation places the hospital among a select group of only 30 hospitals nationwide. Chest Pain Centers with Primary PCI and Resuscitation have demonstrated that they are prepared with the equipment and staff required to perform emergency angioplasty, a lifesaving intervention performed during a heart attack in which a stent is inserted into an artery to increase blood flow to the heart. To receive the Primary PCI and Resuscitation designation, hospitals also are required to:
• Make primary PCI available 24/7, every day of the year, and have a call team of cardiac cath lab staff and an interventional cardiologist who can arrive at the hospital within 30 minutes
• Be equipped with a robust hypothermia program that includes patient follow-up
• Maintain a "No Diversion Policy" for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients
• Designate a separate multidisciplinary resuscitation committee that has representation from EMS, nursing, medical staff and administration

Hospitals that receive SCPC Chest Pain Center Accreditation status have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack, according to Danita Mullins, Washington Regional director of emergency services. “The lengthy and thorough accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of review specialists. By achieving this full accreditation, Washington Regional has again demonstrated a commitment to provide our patients with an advanced level of care,” Mullins said.

In addition to the Primary PCI and Resuscitation capabilities, by achieving SCPC’s Chest Pain Center Accreditation status, Washington Regional Medical Center has proven expertise in:
• 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