Columbia St. Mary's Hospitals Accredited as Chest Pain Centers

Friday, November 11, 2005

F:\PROJECTS\csm\web\images\Society_Chest_Pain_Centers\SCPCAcredLogo.gifMilwaukee, Wis., November 9, 2005—Columbia St. Mary’s is pleased to announce that it has received full accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) for its Columbia Campus, 2025 E. Newport Ave., and Milwaukee Campus, 2323 N. Lake Drive. The accreditation is for three years.

"The certification confirms that Columbia St. Mary’s has the processes and protocols in place to provide the highest level of care for acute patients experiencing a heart attack as well as those who are experiencing symptoms that could progress to a heart attack if not treated," said Thomas Dohmeier, Executive Director, Cardiovascular Services. "The Chest Pain Center staffs have demonstrated their expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting the SCPC criteria and focusing on continual quality improvement in the care of these patients."

Columbia St. Mary’s has two of the three accredited Chest Pain Centers in Milwaukee proper. The two hospitals are among only 10 in Wisconsin to receive this distinction, recognizing the Chest Pain Centers for their superb quality of care.

Chest pain and other symptoms of a heart attack (e.g., jaw or arm pain, nausea, vomiting) are among the most common reasons patients seek care in hospital emergency departments. If a heart attack is diagnosed, successful treatment is time dependent and a clearly defined treatment process must be initiated rapidly.

Community education is among the eight components SCPC has identified for chest pain centers. Columbia St. Mary’s has met this criterion with its community outreach programs that include community cardiovascular screenings and education programs, and recognition of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Working with Emergency Medical System providers is critical to the care of cardiac patients and is another key component of accreditation. "The EMS providers are the first on the scene," said Joy Levin, Director of Non-invasive Cardiovascular Services. "Columbia St. Mary’s is committed to working with EMS providers to provide timely and effective care for our cardiac patients through collaboration and education—even before the patient arrives at one of our facilities."

Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee Campus in Mequon began its full-service cardiovascular program—including catheterizations and heart surgery—in early October. The Ozaukee Campus will seek SCPC accreditation in the future.

The SCPC, formed in 1998, is a patient-centered professional society with a focus on heart disease and a mission of educating the public and health care professionals on the importance of rapid diagnosis and treatment for people experiencing chest pain. The SCPC inaugurated an accreditation process through which it evaluates Chest Pain Centers across the country to ensure that these centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.



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