St. Francis Medical Center provides necessary care, resources to patients
MONROE, LA — The American College of Cardiology has recognized St. Francis Medical Center for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. St. Francis was recently awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary PCI based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
"We are extremely proud of achieving accreditation as a chest pain center again after our initial three-year accreditation in 2014," said Kristin Wolkart, President & CEO of St. Francis Medical Center. "It has been a rigorous process and our team has been working hard to meet this elite mark of excellence. This is yet another example of how we continue to raise the bar for the health and well-being of our community."
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.
“Chest pain is among the top symptoms of patients who visit the St. Francis Medical Center Emergency Department (ED). This accreditation means that any patient who comes to St. Francis experiencing chest pain can be confident he or she is receiving care that meets or exceeds the highest national standards of care,” said Teresa Daniel, RN-BC, CEN, SANE-A, Chest Pain/Stroke Coordinator and ED Supervisor. “Education is critical. It is very important that people recognize the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack and call 911 for help.”
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 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. Francis Medical Center,” said Abraham Joseph, vice president of ACC Accreditation Services. “We commend St. Francis Medical Center for its demonstrated commitment to providing Northeast Louisiana with excellent cardiac care.
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.
The ACC and American Heart Association are collaborating to offer U.S. hospitals like St. Francis Medical Center access to a comprehensive suite of co-branded cardiac accreditation services designed to optimize patient outcomes and improve hospital financial performance. These services are focused on all aspects of cardiac care, including emergency treatment of heart attacks.