Watertown Regional Medical Center Achieves New Status as Accredited Chest Pain Center

October 18, 2017

Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Accreditation Services. Hospitals that have received ACC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive 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.

To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, WRMC engaged in rigorous evaluation by ACC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:

  • Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
  • Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
  • Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital

 “Earning Chest Pain Center accreditation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our clinical team, our community partners and the ACC, who have been working collaboratively to ensure our hospital is prepared to provide high quality care to patients when heart attacks strike,” said Richard Keddington, WRMC CEO. “WRMC’s top priority is to provide quality healthcare close to home, and this accomplishment demonstrates one of the many ways we continually work to enhance and improve our service.”

WRMC addresses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient, including important areas such as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, quality assurance plan, and WRMC’s community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, WRMC has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.

Part of LifePoint Health, WRMC is one of more than 60 LifePoint facilities that have earned ACC accreditation since 2015, demonstrating the company-wide commitment to enhancing quality and ensuring excellent service and care in the emergency department. The partnership between LifePoint Health and ACC for collaborative training and hospital accreditation demonstrates the organizations’ common focus on high quality medical care for patients.

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” said Isabelle Garibaldi, Chief Nursing Officer at WRMC. “The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient. With our new accreditation, we hope to bring greater awareness to the importance of timely care and help even more people in our community.”