ServicesLocations & DirectionsPatients & VisitorsHealth ResourcesCareersContact UsFind a Doctor
About Us > News > PinnacleHealth News Releases > PinnacleHealth Receives Coveted Accreditation as Chest Pain Center

PinnacleHealth Receives Coveted Accreditation as Chest Pain Center

HARRISBURG, Pa. (August 13, 2013) -- PinnacleHealth again received full accreditation with PCI from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). Full accreditation is only granted to hospitals that closely follow the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association’s recommendations to improve and save lives.

An accredited chest pain center with PCI means that a hospital has dedicated interventional cardiologists, and cardiology and emergency personnel trained in rapid response and treatment of heart attacks, which ensures reduced heart muscle damage.

"This accreditation is a coveted national seal of approval that verifies PinnacleHealth is a leader in cardiac diagnoses and interventions, offering the latest technology in the care and treatment of the cardiac patient," said Kenneth May, Jr. MD, Co-ChairPinnacleHealth Cardiovascular Institute and interventional cardiologist. "We have the right processes in place to reduce time to treatment during the critical, early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective."

"PinnacleHealth’s accreditation as a Chest Pain Center means we have the right skills, team, technology and equipment available day and night to stop a heart attack in its tracks," said Michael A. Young, president and CEO of PinnacleHealth. "Not every hospital can offer the state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and on-site interventional options that are available at PinnacleHealth."

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 PinnacleHealth System 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 SCPC’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

About PinnacleHealth System
PinnacleHealth is a pioneer not-for-profit healthcare system dedicated to providing and 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) and medical services, including family practice, imaging, outpatient surgery and oncology, at multiple locations throughout the region. For a complete list of services, visit our website at