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St. Luke's Receives Chest Pain Accreditation
September 18, 2019

St. Luke’s Allentown and Bethlehem Campuses have been recognized by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for their demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain.

The ACC awarded these St. Luke’s facilities Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary PCI based on a rigorous onsite evaluation of their staffs’ ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. 

According to the ACC, hospitals that have earned its Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have treatment available 24/7 every day of the year.

“Being accredited by the American College of Cardiology is a great honor and validates the quality of care that our patients consistently receive,” says Melinda Shoemaker, Director of Chest Pain Accreditation, Heart and Vascular Administration, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN). 

“This includes looking at the whole continuum of care that a cardiac patient should have.”

The accreditation process is multi-faceted. It starts with a very detailed application submission of the site’s organizational structure, outcomes and process of care.

“We also submit blinded, randomized patient data for their review and outcome trending,” Shoemaker notes. “This is followed by a rigorous onsite appraisal and valuation of the staff’s ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.” 

In addition, performance improvement programs are evaluated.

“The ACC validated that our mature quality improvement programs have yielded stellar results and have acknowledged that we are maintaining top performance,” Shoemaker says.

“Facilities achieving an ACC accreditation are committed to establishing a method for sustainable quality improvement. In the site review report, our network was recognized as having many notable processes of care that exceed the accreditation requirements. We have been asked on multiple occasions to present our practices at national conferences and training programs.”

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.

“The ACC envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes,” Shoemaker explains.

“Receiving this accreditation validates St. Luke’s commitment to deliver top quality care by exceptionally trained professionals with proven outstanding results. Saving lives, preventing irreparable heart damage, and improving the cardiovascular patients’ quality of life are the absolute fundamentals of accreditation. The net of improved cardiovascular outcomes means our facility has proven patient satisfaction and outcomes, a multi-disciplinary team approach to treatment, a precise cardiovascular care strategy and reduced risk for cardiovascular treatment and procedures.”


About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 34 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 263 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.