Bethlehem, PA (12/16/2013) - St. Luke's University Hospital – Bethlehem and St. Luke's Allentown Campus announced full accreditation status as an Accredited Chest Pain Center from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). These two hospitals were the first to be accredited in the region in 2008. SCPC is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction.
To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, St. Luke's engaged in rigorous re-evaluation and refinement of its cardiac care processes in order to integrate best practices and newest paradigms into its cardiac care processes.
“What's so important about this accreditation is that it recognizes the efforts our staff make on a daily basis to ensure that all the measures and protocols are not only met but also continually improved upon. Having been the first hospital in the region to receive the accreditation meant that over the course of time, we have developed a standard of excellence in treating our patients resulting in better outcomes,” said Gerald Pytlewski, DO, Medical Director of the Chest Pain Center.
“We continually strive to improve the care continuum for our community providing state-of-art processes from the point of symptom onset to recovery,” Dr. Pytlewski added.
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 to the hospital.
With the increase in the number of chest pain centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients, according to SPSC. SCPC's accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.
The Accredited Chest Pain Center at St. Luke's University Hospital – Bethlehem and St. Luke's Allentown Campus has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing an onsite review by a team of SPCP’s accreditation review specialists, said Dr. Pytlewski. Key areas in which an Accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include the following:
- Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
- Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
- Effectively treating patients with 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
- Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
- Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack
About St. Luke's University Health Network
St. Luke's University Health Network, nationally recognized for excellent quality care, is a regional health network comprised of six of hospitals, providing care primarily in Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery and Berks counties in Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. St. Luke's University Health Network was awarded among the Truven 2014 Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals, one of only 2 hospitals in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- this is the sixth time St. Luke's has achieved this impressive status. St. Luke's has also been recognized in 2013 by The Joint Commission with a Top Performer Award for heart attack and heart failure. In 2011, St. Luke's and Temple University School of Medicine partnered to develop the first and only medical school campus in the Lehigh Valley. Learn more about St. Luke's University Health Network.
About the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care
The Society of Cardiovascular Patient care (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of health care. For more information on SCPC, accreditation and certification opportunities, visit www.scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.
Director of Media Relations
St. Luke's University Health Network