Published on October 16th, 20170
St. Luke’s Reaccredited by American College of Cardiology
SLUHN providing highest standards of care to patients with heart attack symptoms.
Bethlehem, Pa. — St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem and St. Luke’s Allentown Campus have once again received special Chest Pain Center accreditation from the American College of Cardiology (ACC).
Accreditation is awarded after rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. It means the hospitals incorporate evidence-based science, quality initiatives, clinical best-practices and the latest medical guidelines into their cardiovascular care processes for acute coronary syndrome patients. The hospitals provide patients the cardiovascular care that preserves the integrity of the heart muscle and therefore optimizing their survival and quality of life.
“This accreditation reaffirms that St. Luke’s cardiovascular team is delivering top-notch heart care to patients,” said Raymond Durkin, MD, St. Luke’s Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine. “We are extending and improving the lives of Lehigh Valley residents through compliance with the highest medical standards and mastery of the most advanced medical technology.”
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 including, but 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.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is also known as coronary angioplasty. It is a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.
Hospitals such as St. Luke’s that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available 24/7 every day of the year. As required to meet the criteria of the accreditation designation, they have streamlined their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment all the way through to appropriate post-discharge care and recommendations and assistance in patient lifestyle changes. In addition, they have formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to their facility for primary PCI.
“ACC Accreditation Services is proud to bestow Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation on St. Luke’s,” said Abraham Joseph, vice president of ACC Accreditation Services. “We commend St. Luke’s for its demonstrated commitment to providing the Lehigh Valley with excellent cardiac care.”
Added Melinda Shoemaker, RN, St. Luke’s Chest Pain Program Director: “To earn this accreditation, the entire St. Luke’s cardiovascular team of doctors, nurses and other caregivers have to work together in concert and in collaboration with our EMS providers, performing at highest standards day in and day out. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the St. Luke’s cardiovascular team.”
Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI 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.