Heart and Vascular Care

Chest Pain Center Accreditation

The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) inaugurated an accreditation process through which they evaluate the care surrounding the treatment of patients who present with symptoms of a heart attack. The intent of this accreditation is to ensure facilities meet or exceed quality-of-care measures based on improving the process for the care of the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patient.

Chest Pain Center Accreditation is promoted by SCPC as an operational model for ACS care. The care of the ACS patient starts from the onset of the patient's symptoms, and includes engagement of Emergency Dispatch Services, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Department and Catheterization Lab, observation unit, cardiac rehab and to discharge from the facility. Within this model, facilities can plan and organize the delivery of care in a systematic manner.

The patient care delivery system most amenable to process improvement is the hospital. Hospitals feel the same pressures and derive the same successes from using process improvement tools as more traditional businesses. Because Chest Pain Center Accreditation is a process improvement experience, participating facilities are left with more efficient, effective organizations in addition to achieving improved patient outcomes.

SCPC's approach to Chest Pain Center Accreditation is radically different from accreditation processes that set specifications and then measure compliance. In contrast to more traditional certification models, SCPC's Accreditation Review Specialists are collaborative and provide feedback, education and resources to assist the facility in addressing gaps and improving processes. If facilities are successful improving the care of the ACS patient, it supports the SCPC our mission to reduce heart attack deaths.

The Chest Pain Center Accreditation process begins with the Accreditation Tool, a document detailing the Key Elements critical to the care of the patient with symptoms of ACS. The content of the Tool is derived from peer-reviewed literature, professional society guidelines and the body of clinical acumen of participating clinicians. The review criteria are a product of leading professional societies such as the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American College of Cardiovascular Administrators, Emergency Nurses Association, and many others working in collaboration with SCPC.

A gap analysis can be performed using the Accreditation Tool. This analysis is fundamental to creating an operational model that will include strategic planning, budgeting, clinical pathways, and education. The gap analysis will provide a road-map to improve processes.