After a rigorous onsite evaluation of East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack, the American College of Cardiology recognized the hospital as a Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain.
“ACC Accreditation Services is proud to bestow Chest Pain Accreditation on East Georgia Regional Medical Center,” said Dr. William Oetgen, executive vice president of ACC Accreditation Services. “We commend East Georgia Regional Medical Center for its demonstrated commitment to providing the greater Statesboro area and surrounding communities with excellent cardiac care.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms.
Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, cold sweat, unusual tiredness, heartburn-like feeling, nausea or vomiting, sudden dizziness and fainting.
“When it comes to the heart, time is heart muscle,” said Dr. Kendall Griffith, interventional cardiologist on the medical staff at East Georgia Regional. “When there is a need, it is imperative that you have a qualified team to take care of your heart expeditiously and efficiently. The fact that EGRMC has been able to acquire chest pain accreditation speaks to the commitment of physicians, staff, and leadership in providing quality care to the people of Statesboro and the surrounding communities. We remain dedicated to continually improve in our goal to provide excellent quality care.”
Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves: completing a gap analysis; examining variances of care, developing an action plan; a rigorous onsite review; and monitoring for sustained success. Improved methods and strategies of caring for patients include streamlining processes, implementing of guidelines and standards, and adopting best practices in the care of patients experiencing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and have organized a team of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and other administrative staff that earnestly support the efforts leading to better patient education and improved patient outcomes.
“Heart attacks symptoms may not always be obvious and people often wait before seeking medical care—which can be a deadly mistake. That’s why community education is so important,” said Bryan Realiza, Stroke and Chest Pain Program coordinator at the Medical Center. “Over the past few years, we have seen tremendous growth in our cardiovascular service line. We have highly trained cardiologists, exceptional cardiac catheterization staff, and an amazing coronary care unit. Chest pain accreditation is not something that is easily obtained and would not have been possible without the hard work of our Emergency Department, local EMS agencies, and Chest Pain Steering Committee. This is a big win for both our facility and community.”
The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association are collaborating to offer U.S. hospitals like East Georgia Regional access to a comprehensive suite of co-branded cardiac accreditation services designed to optimize patient outcomes and improve hospital performance. These services are focused on all aspects of cardiac care, including emergency treatment of heart attacks.