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West Florida Hospital Earns Highest Level of Achievement by The Society for Cardiovascular Patient Care

West Florida Hospital Earns Highest Level of Achievement by The Society for Cardiovascular Patient Care

April 16, 2013

Chest Pain Center with PCI

Pensacola, FL – West Florida Hospital has received the area’s highest level of achievement as an accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) from The Society for Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC).  The reaccreditation is for a period of three years.  West Florida Hospital was the first facility in the area to become an Accredited Chest Pain Center.

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.

"We are very proud to have earned this impressive designation," said Brian Baumgardner, president and CEO of West Florida Healthcare.  "Studies have demonstrated that hospitals with Chest Pain Centers significantly decrease mortality for patients with heart attacks and improve the provision of care and treatment."

The Society requires continuous quality improvement and each reaccreditation is more difficult than the one before.  To become reaccredited through the SCPC, West Florida Hospital engaged in a 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 West Florida Hospital, 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,” said Daniel Phillips, M.D., Medical Director of West Florida Healthcare’s Chest Pain Center.  “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 Accredited Chest Pain Center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event.  Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

Heart attack is the leading cause of death in the United States with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease.  More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain.  SCPC’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment. 

To complement West Florida Hospital’s newly reaccredited Chest Pain Center, the hospital is the only facility in the area to offer all-private rooms.  The West Florida Healthcare campus includes the all private room acute care hospital, the area’s only comprehensive physical rehabilitation hospital, and a mental health facility.  Affiliated with HCA, the nation’s leading provider of healthcare, West Florida Healthcare offers major services in cardiology/cardiovascular surgery, oncology, neurology/neurosurgery, orthopedics, emergency care, behavioral health, obstetrics, rehabilitative medicine and many other medical specialties. 

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