The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized Leesburg Regional Medical Center (LRMC) and The Villages® Regional Hospital (TVRH) for their demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. Each hospital was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primacy PCI and Resuscitation this month based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff's ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
"The achievement of this prestigious accreditation not only represents our clinical care team's commitment to excellence but also their unwavering dedication to improving heart and vascular care for our local residents and their families," says Don Henderson, President and CEO of Central Florida Health - the not-for-profit parent company of LRMC and TVRH.
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 including, 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.
“ACC Accreditation Services is proud to bestow Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation Accreditation on Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages® Regional Hospital,” said Abraham Joseph, vice president of ACC Accreditation Services. “We commend the teams for their demonstrated commitment to providing Lake and Sumter Counties with excellent cardiac care.”
Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation 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 comply with standard Chest Pain Center protocols and are equipped with a robust hypothermia program for post-cardiac arrest treatment. These facilities also maintain a “No Diversion Policy” for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients.
“In an effort to eliminate heart disease as a leading cause of death, we utilize protocols proven by research and patient outcomes to be the best practice,” said Mary Beth Morris, Stroke and Chest Pain Coordinator at LRMC. “Accreditation shows our commitment as a health provider in striving to improve the quality of our patients’ lives. Our organization includes two out of the only twelve hospitals in Florida to achieve this level of accreditation.”
Hospitals receiving the accreditation 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.
“Education is a vital component of chest pain accreditation,” said Jenny Hardy, Stroke and Chest Pain Coordinator at TVRH. “We introduced numerous process improvement initiatives over the past year and will continue to educate our community, Emergency Medical Services partners, team members and providers so that we can continue to improve our care and patient outcomes.”
To the community, this means that Central Florida Health has demonstrated a higher standard and quality of care for the cardiac patient. But it doesn’t stop there. “Receiving this distinction does not mean that we stop improving on our process and delivery of care," concludes Hardy. "We must continue to evaluate our chest pain program and implement process improvement initiatives across the care continuum for our patients."