Front row, from left: Denisea Gilliam, RN, director of emergency services and hospitalist program; Devon Emerson, cardiology manager; and Tim Kimball, director of surgery and cardiopulmonary services. Back row: Bill Wood, OMC board of directors vice chairman; Kevin Gleghorn, OMC board of directors chairman; and Dr. Kevin Crowe, interventional cardiologist.

Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) in West Plains received full Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) in July. “The achievement of this accreditation demonstrates OMC’s commitment to provide our communities access to the safest, highest quality care. Many individuals have worked diligently to ensure best practice methods are in place at OMC,” said Tom Keller, OMC president and CEO.

“OMC is one of only nine hospitals in the state of Missouri with an accredited Chest Pain Center. If a person exhibits symptoms of chest pain, 911 should be called. Early intervention improves outcomes, which is why we have the saying ‘Time lost is muscle lost’ when it comes to heart attack,” said Dr. Kevin Crowe, interventional cardiologist at OMC. Accreditation expires on July 15, 2019.

Heart attacks are 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 ach 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 that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

An Accredited Chest Pain Center’s (CPC) evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to cardiac patient care allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack. Accredited facilities better monitor patients when it is not initially clear whether or not a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

“The collaborative work of OMC’s Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Laboratory, Respiratory Care, Cardiac Stepdown Unit, Cardiac Diagnostic Lab, Cath Lab, Scheduling, Documentation Integrity, Information Technology and Nursing Units brought about the high standards needed for this accreditation,” said Devon Emerson, OMC cardiology manager.

SCPC’s CPC Accreditation process came about as greater numbers of facilities in the United States sought to establish standards and adopt best practices in the quality of care provided to patients experiencing chest pain. SCPC’s CPC Accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists. Hospitals that receive SCPC CPC Accreditation status have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who present 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.

By achieving SCPC’s Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation status OMC demonstrates expertise in the following areas:

• Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system

• Assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly

• Effectively treating patients at low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms

• Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures

• Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel

• Maintaining organizational structure and commitment

• Constructing a functional design that promotes optimal patient care

• Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to seek medical care at symptoms of a possible heart attack


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