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Published on April 12, 2012

University Hospital Receives Prestigious Accreditation As Cycle III Pain Center

COLUMBIA, Mo. ― University Hospital’s speed and efficiency at treating patients with chest pain and heart attack symptoms has earned the hospital prestigious Cycle III accreditation with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

The Society of Chest Pain Centers is a non-profit international professional organization focused on improving care for patients with acute coronary syndromes and other related illnesses. The society’s accreditation recognizes chest pain centers who have demonstrated expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations by a review team from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

“Our comprehensive approach to care for chest pain patients ensures rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment as soon as a patient arrives in University Hospital’s E.R.,” said Richard Webel, M.D., cardiologist and medical director of University Hospital’s chest pain center. “Treatments are most effective and patients do better when care is delivered during the critical early stages of a heart attack.

“At University Hospital, the average time for diagnosing patients who come to the E.R. with chest pains and treating them in the cardiac catheterization lab is 60 minutes,” he said. “Our ambulance crews, Staff for Life helicopter medical crews, emergency room staff, cardiac catheterization lab staff and cardiologists all work together to ensure that patients with chest pain who arrive at University Hospital are diagnosed and treated rapidly.”

Patients at University Hospital receive follow-up care and resource coordination by cardiac care nurses, cardiac rehabilitation nurses, social workers, dietitians, case managers and allied health professionals to speed their recovery and long-term disease management.

“For the patient, that not only means the best chance for survival, but the opportunity for a full recovery as well,” said Webel.

“The Chest Pain Center accreditation indicates that University Hospital’s processes and procedures used to care for chest pain patients exceed the rigorous standards set by the Society for Chest Pain Centers,” said Cindy Feutz, R.N., M.S.N., cardiology clinic nurse specialist at University Hospital and chest pain center coordinator.

Areas where University Hospital excelled included:

• Integration of the emergency department with the local emergency medical system

• Rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment

• Effective treatment for patients at low risk for acute coronary syndrome with no assignable cause for their symptoms

• Continual improvement of processes and procedures

• Competency and training of staff

• Organizational structure and commitment

• A functional design that promotes optimal patient care

• Support of community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

University Hospital was accredited as a Cycle I chest pain center in 2006. Higher-level Cycle II status was achieved in 2009. University Hospital earned Cycle III status in March 2012.