Anderson Re-accredited as Area's Only Chest Pain Center

Elderly man experiencing chest discomfort on couch
DATE POSTED: October 8, 2018

Anderson Regional Medical Center has been re-accredited as a Chest Pain Center with PCI by the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Anderson is the only accredited chest pain center in Meridian, and one of eight centers in Mississippi.

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.

“The goal of the accreditation process is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of chest pain 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,” said Dr. Kim McDonald, Emergency Medicine Physician and Medical Director of Anderson’s Emergency Department.

Dr. Wes Bennett, Interventional Cardiologist with Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS), serves as the Medical Director of the Chest Pain Center Accreditation process. Dr. Bennett said, “Chest Pain Center accreditation should indicate to the community a commitment on the part of ARMC for quality acute care for those patients who present in the early critical stages of a heart attack. Our evidence based, protocol driven, and structured approach to acute care cardiology allows clinicians to quickly and efficiently assess those patients requiring timely treatment. Adequate implementation of these processes allows for patients to be better monitored to ensure that they are not sent home too early or needlessly admitted.”

“This re-accreditation follows a rigorous survey involving local EMS, as well as Anderson’s Emergency Department staff, CIS Cardiologists, Cath Lab staff and Nursing staff. Many processes, procedures and people work together to meet the criteria required to retain this accreditation,” added Jennifer Bell, RN, BSN, CCCC, Director of Cardiovascular Services at Anderson.

With the increase in chest pain centers came the need to establish standards and adopt best practices designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. The Chest Pain Center accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists.

Accredited hospitals have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.

By achieving ACC’s Chest Pain Center with PCI Accreditation status, Anderson demonstrated expertise in the following areas:

• 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

“By continuing to meet the requirements of being an accredited chest pain center, our physicians and staff are demonstrating a strong commitment to provide patients with the most advanced cardiac care in this area,” commented John Anderson, President and CEO of Anderson Regional Health System.

About Anderson Regional Health System

As the most comprehensive health system in East Mississippi and West Alabama, Anderson Regional Health System is the established leader in offering premier medical services. With two hospitals, a regional cancer center, and a network of clinics and providers, Anderson’s healthcare professionals are committed to the mission of providing a heritage of healing and improving life for the people they serve.

About American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), based in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit medical association established in 1949. The ACC is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College and its more than 52,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications.