HOUSTON (April 11, 2011)

Greater Heights Chest Pain CenterProudly displaying the Accreditation with PCI from Society of Chest Pain Centers are Memorial Hermann Northwest staff (left to right) Aaron Arias, ER - Director of Patient Care; Brenda Stewart, ER Nurse; Susan Jadlowski, COO, CNO; (back) Ronda Ransom, Performance Improvement Coordinator; Aziz Benamar, Imaging Services Director (back); Harparminder Chadha, MD, Emergency Services Medical Director; Gary Kerr, CEO (back); Rosalinda Chambers, Medical Staff Director; Sonja Cothran, Director Healthcare Improvement; and Levinda Soliz, CV - Director of Patient Care . Not pictured: Frank Bolanos, RN RCIS, Chest Pain Center Coordinator, and Domingo Gonzalez, MD, medical director of cardiology.

Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital has received full accreditation with PCI from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, a patient-centered, nonprofit international organization focused on improving care for patients with heart disease.

"It is a great honor to receive this coveted accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers," said Gary Kerr, CEO of Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital. "The accreditation is a testament to the high quality of care provided by our team to patients who suffer chest pain, heart attack and other heart issues."

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. In addition, more than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain.

SCPC's goal 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. 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.

With the increase in chest pain centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. SCPC's accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

The Accredited Chest Pain Center at Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital 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. 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