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About Us > News > PinnacleHealth News Releases > PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute Receives Atrial Fibrillation Certification

PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute Receives Atrial Fibrillation Certification

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PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute is the first hospital in Pennsylvania to receive full Atrial Fibrillation Certification status from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). 
“Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and has become recognized as a health concern that in some cases can lead to stroke and possible death. It is important for patients to work closely with their healthcare provider and seek appropriate treatment to live safely with atrial fibrillation,” states Michael F. Smith, MD, FACC, medical director of Electrophysiology (EP) at PinnacleHealth. “This certification recognizes the PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute team for having the right skills, team and technology to successfully treat atrial fibrillation.”
To receive certification, PinnacleHealth demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing a comprehensive review by an accreditation review specialist from the SCPC.  PinnacleHealth’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient evaluation and management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment and to risk stratify patients to decrease their length of stay in the emergency department and the hospital.
PinnacleHealth also achieved the coveted Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) highest 3-star overall for four consecutive rating periods in part because of survival rates that consistently exceed STS benchmarks. PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute is involved in more than 50 clinical trials for cardiac care and nearly 20 for vascular disease.
Atrial fibrillation, or Afib, is a type of irregular heartbeat. It occurs when one, or both, of the upper chambers of the heart – called the atria – beat erratically. This puts them out of sync with the heart’s two lower chambers – called the ventricles. Nearly three million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation. 
Some signs of Afib include:
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • A sense that your heart is pounding, skipping or fluttering
  • Feeling tired or unable to complete daily activities
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
Atrial fibrillation patients use more healthcare services and have much higher healthcare costs than those without the disease.  SCPC’s goal is to help facilities evaluate and manage the atrial fibrillation patient more effectively, improve patient outcomes, and educate patients and healthcare providers to more efficiently care for this disease. 
About PinnacleHealth System
PinnacleHealth is a pioneer not-for-profit healthcare system dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for the people of Central Pennsylvania since 1873. A proven leader in medical innovation, PinnacleHealth offers a wide range of services from primary care to the most complex surgeries and Magnet recognition for nursing excellence. The healthcare network includes four campuses (Community, West Shore, Harrisburg and Polyclinic). The new five-story West Shore Hospital includes 108 beds with an emergency department, medical/surgical care, cardiology, orthopedics, chronic disease management, and private patient rooms. PinnacleHealth is part of RiverHealth ACO, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Medical services, including family practice, imaging, outpatient surgery and oncology are offered at multiple locations throughout the region. For a complete list of services, visit our website at