UNC Hospitals Achieves New Status as Accredited Chest Pain Center

Hospitals that have received Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack, emphasizing the importance of treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms.

UNC Hospitals Achieves New Status as Accredited Chest Pain Center click to enlarge Prashant Kaul, MD, Medical Director, UNC Chest Pain Center

Media Contact: Laura Melega, laura_melega@med.unc.edu, (919) 843-8217

March 25, 2014

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --  UNC Hospitals announces that it has received Chest Pain Center with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction.

Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation 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.

“Receiving this accreditation for UNC Hospitals is a testament to the hard work of people from many different areas, including, but certainly not limited to, our local EMS crews, Chatham Hospital, Emergency Services and Emergency Medicine, Cardiology, Cardiac Cath lab and Cardiac Services, UNC Heart & Vascular Nursing, Cardiac Rehab, and Laboratory Services,” says Prashant Kaul, MD, FACC, FSCAI, UNC Chest Pain Center Medical Director.

“This accreditation underlines our commitment to the highest standards of personalized cardiovascular care.  We look forward to effectively treating and educating patients to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI, UNC Hospitals engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by UNC, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:

  • Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
  • Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
  • Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” states Tracey Blevins, RN, BSN, MBA, UNC Chest Pain Center Coordinator. “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.”

The state-of-the-art UNC Chest Pain Center at UNC Hospitals encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and includes such focal points as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, UNC’s quality assurance plan, and community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, the hospital has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.

About the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care

The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (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, accreditation and certification opportunities, visit www.scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.

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