Chest Pain Center

St. Francis Medical Center offers an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI. This designation, awarded by the the American College of Cardiology, means that St. Francis Medical Center has demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. St. Francis Medical Center was awarded Chest Pain Accreditation with Primary PCI in March 2021 based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff's ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.

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.

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.

“St. Francis Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to providing Northeast Louisiana with excellent heart care,” said Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award St. Francis Medical Center with Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation.”

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.

"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 Kristin Wolkart, President of St. Francis Medical Center. "The accreditation process is rigorous, and a large multidisciplinary team has been working hard to achieve 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."