Northwest Hospital Becomes an Accredited Chest Pain Center

Northwest Hospital’s ER-7 has received accreditation as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international nonprofit organization that recognizes hospitals that meet demanding criteria in their emergency care for heart attacks.

The SCPC bestows Chest Pain Center accreditation on hospitals that have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. Over the past two years, Northwest Hospital has implemented an improved standardized process so that patients who arrive at the emergency room with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms are evaluated efficiently and effectively and treated rapidly. The hospital has focused not only on the quality of care, but also on keeping cardiac care costs down, improving heart patient satisfaction, and encouraging its patients to adopt healthy lifestyles so that their risk factors for heart attack are reduced.

“Our new accreditation as a Chest Pain Center is a testament to the hard work our team has put in to improve heart attack patient outcomes,” says Brian S. White, Northwest’s president and COO. “This is not just another feather in our cap; it means that the community we serve has access to an enhanced quality of emergency heart care.”

To earn its status as a Chest Pain Center, Northwest Hospital was rigorously evaluated by the SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. This means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:

  • Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
  • Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
  • Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital

Thanks to its partnership with Sinai Hospital, also part of the LifeBridge Health system, Northwest Hospital has been able to meet the SCPC’s guidelines for care for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a common form of heart attack in which coronary arteries become blocked. Patients who arrive at Northwest's ER-7 and are diagnosed with a STEMI are urgently transferred to Sinai's state-of-the-art interventional cardiac catheterization lab, where they receive a stent procedure.

The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization whose mission is to transform cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty society, SCPC provides the support needed for hospital systems to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of health care.

For more information on SCPC, accreditation and certification opportunities, visit www.scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.

-Holly Hosler

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 866-404-DOCS.

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