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Front Royal, VA , July 13, 2012 – Warren Memorial Hospital (WMH) has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, becoming one of only 28 accredited programs in Virginia. The three-year accreditation is endorsement of the hospital’s quality of care for heart patients and its commitment to building community awareness about heart attack signs and symptoms.
WMH is focused on delivering high-quality care to chest pain patients, explains Rasheva Sperry, RN, Emergency Department charge nurse and key contact for the hospital’s Chest Pain Center. The accreditation process involved a comprehensive evaluation of WMH’s ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
WMH is a non-Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) hospital that works closely with local Emergency Medical Services and Winchester Medical Center, Valley Health’s primary PCI facility for cases requiring additional testing or interventions such as heart catheterization or surgery, to facilitate fast and effective early treatment.
Through its application and on-site visit by reviewers, WMH had to demonstrate that it has processes in place to ensure coordination throughout the full continuum of cardiac care. As a result of strengthening these relationships and implementing improved processes for treating chest pain patients, WMH received designation on June 20 as a fully-accredited Chest Pain Center, one of 10 non-PCI centers statewide.
Accreditation emphasizes adherence to standardized diagnostic and treatment protocols that speed up evaluation and appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms during the critical early stages.
“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” states James Freilich, MD, emergency medicine physician and Medical Director of WMH’s Chest Pain Center. “The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”
WMH staff is actively involved in educating the community on the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of seeking time-specific care. “It is very important to educate people on heart attack signs and symptoms and early heart attack care, which includes having a plan. That plan is to not wait longer than five minutes if experiencing signs and symptoms of a heart attack and to act quickly by calling 911,” emphasizes Sperry.
“As an accredited Chest Pain Center, WMH will continue to build strong relationships with the community, EMS, and Winchester Medical Center, focus on early recognition of heart attack, and reassess and refine our processes for coronary care,” Sperry concludes.
About the Society of Chest Pain Centers
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 healthcare. For more information on SCPC, visit www.scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.
Early Signs & Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Remember, people may or may not experience any or all of these symptoms. Symptoms in women may be different or less noticeable than in men.
Also, people may experience mild chest symptoms such as pressure, burning, aching or tightness. These symptoms may come and go until finally becoming constant and severe.
If you suspect someone is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately! Do not wait. Time is heart muscle.