St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital in Coaldale has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide by improving care for patients with acute coronary syndromes and other related conditions.

Hospitals that have received SCPC 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.

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

Ÿ Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment

Ÿ Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved

Ÿ 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

"People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that's a mistake," states Eric Bodish, MD, Medical Director, Emergency Department, St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital. "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."

"We are proud that our commitment to providing area patients with timely, expert evaluation and treatment of chest pain-related symptoms has been recognized by the Society of Chest Pain Centers," said Kim Sargent, RN, Interim Manager, Emergency Department, St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital. "This accreditation validates what we know to be true. St. Luke's and our EMS communities have the highest quality staff providing excellent, leading edge care to our patients and we are continually monitoring our processes in order to improve."

By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.