Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Receives Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Northwestern Medicine
News February 19, 2013
Ian Cohen, MD, medical director of cardiologyNorthwestern Lake Forest Hospital has been awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), an international non-for-profit organization focused on improving cardiovascular care. Chest Pain Center Accreditation is a rigorous three-year process that examines a hospital’s policies, processes and performance measures in diagnosing and treating patients with acute coronary syndrome.

“This accreditation recognizes the standard of care that Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital provides to our patients and recognizes our commitment to continually raise the standards of cardiac care for our patients,” said Ian Cohen, MD, FACC, FSCAI, medical director of cardiology and the Chest Pain Center at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and interventional cardiologist at Northwestern’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.

The accreditation was awarded after analysis of the hospital’s timely intervention, diagnosis and treatment of patients with chest pain and the positive patient outcomes that transpired. Achieving Chest Pain Center Accreditation recognizes that Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s cardiologists, emergency department physicians and patient care staff consistently demonstrate expertise in streamlined diagnosis and treatment of chest pain. Additional requirements for accreditation include integration with paramedics/EMS, and support for community outreach programs that educate the public to immediately seek medical care if they have symptoms of a heart attack.

The time frame in which a patient with chest pain receives rapid diagnosis and treatment is the difference between life and death. Opening a patient’s artery with an angioplasty balloon 90 minutes after arrival is a standard quality indicator for hospitals nationally. At Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, the average time between arrival and opening the artery with an angioplasty balloon is 67 minutes.

According to the SCPC, heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. The goal of the SCPC 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.

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