Lutheran Hospital first in state to earn highest-level chest pain center accreditation

Cycle V includes attestation in new proficiencies

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Thursday, March 10, 2016) – Lutheran Hospital has reinforced its position as a state leader in cardiac care by receiving the most advanced chest pain center accreditation possible – the first facility in Indiana to achieve the designation. Lutheran officially received full cycle V accreditation with percutaneous coronary intervention* and resuscitation accreditation** from the accreditation review committee of the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. This three-year reaccreditation expires Jan. 14, 2019.

“By design, each reaccreditation gets a little more difficult to achieve, and each cycle incorporates six essential components,” said Latesa Conley, chest pain center coordinator, Lutheran Hospital. “We’re ecstatic that Lutheran wields the highest achievement level available for a chest pain center. We’re among only a handful of facilities in the country to reach this level.”

Lutheran has participated in and achieved all five cycles of Chest Pain Center accreditation. It received initial cycle I accreditation in 2004. At that time, it became the first accredited chest pain center in northeastern Indiana and only the 27th in the nation. As of March 7, Lutheran was the 18th out of 19 total facilities in the nation to receive the more advanced, voluntary accreditation.

With the increase in chest pain centers more than a decade ago 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.

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.

An accredited chest pain center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time prior to treatment during the critical stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective. Also, monitoring patients early on is beneficial when it is yet determined that the patient is experiencing a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

The Accredited Chest Pain Center at Lutheran Hospital 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


EDITOR’S NOTE: Media are invited to meet March 11 at 11 a.m. to speak with a heart attack survivor being discharged that day. Chest Pain Coordinator Latesa Conley, RN, will also be available to media. Please meet in the main lobby of Lutheran Hospital.

*About Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
Percutaneous coronary intervention (angioplasty or stent placement), as opposed to clot-busting drugs, is the path of choice for physicians at Lutheran Hospital treating patients who arrive at the emergency department with a heart attack. PCI is performed in the cardiac catheterization lab.

**About Resuscitation Accreditation
Resuscitation Accreditation can only be acquired by a chest pain center with PCI since each part builds on the previous level. Hypothermia therapy and early invasive strategy such as primary PCI have proven to significantly improve patient outcomes. Chest pain centers with primary PCI and resuscitation designations are equipped with a robust hypothermia program which includes policies, procedures, and protocols for post-arrest treatment.

About the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care
The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care is an international nonprofit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their efforts to create cardiovascular centers of excellence that deliver quality care and patient satisfaction in a cost sensitive environment. SCPC offers individual hospitals and hospital systems the support needed to effectively reduce variations of care and bridge existing gaps in treatment. Through its collaboration with actively engaged, multidisciplinary teams, SCPC is “Taking Science to the Bedside™” and improving outcomes in the management of heart disease. For more information on SCPC’s Chest Pain Center accreditation, visit, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.

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