West Jefferson Medical Center Receives the ONLY Chest Pain Center Accreditation in the New Orleans Metro Area

West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) received full accreditation with PCI from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) on March 27, 2012. WJMC is proud to be the ONLY hospital in the New Orleans Metro Area to receive this national honor. Accreditation remains in effect for three years and expires in 2015.

“West Jefferson Medical Center continues to strive to be a leader in providing the best clinical quality, patient safety, service and value,” said Nancy R. Cassagne, Chief Executive Officer of West Jefferson Medical Center. “Exceeding national standards for care of patients experiencing chest pain can mean the difference between life, death or disability for the patient. We are proud that our West Jeff team has been recognized with this accreditation for their outstanding care of cardiac patients. Enhancing quality to a national standard is part of achieving our vision."

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. 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 West Jefferson Medical Center 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