Memorial Hospital achieved national accreditation in preventing and treating heart attacks, the leading cause of death in the U.S., by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

The Society awarded Memorial full Percutaneous Coronary Intervention accreditation. Hospitals with this accreditation have implemented protocols and procedures that lead to faster, better care for patients experiencing heart attacks and chest pain, according to a press release about the accreditation.

To become accredited, Memorial Hospital had to demonstrate expertise across a stringent set of criteria and underwent a rigorous on-site review by a team of the Society’s accreditation review specialists.

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the ‘extra,’ ” said Memorial Hospital President and CEO Mike Scialdone. “As an accredited chest pain center, we’ve focused on the extras that improve lives and help people in life-or-death situations return home to their families.”

“This accreditation recognizes that our protocols across the system are optimized to reduce the time from when a person experiences chest pain or heart attack symptoms to diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Russell Linsky, medical director of invasive cardiology for Memorial. “The sooner we identify symptoms and administer treatment, the more we are able to preserve the integrity of heart muscle and the better the outcomes are for patients.”

Some 600,000 people die annually of heart disease, and more than 5 million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain.

- Advertisement -

Key areas in which an accredited chest pain center must demonstrate expertise include the following:

· 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; and

· Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack.