John C. Lincoln Hospitals are Chest Pain Centers with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention, also known as angioplasty), the highest national accreditation possible for emergency cardiac care.
Deer Valley and North Mountain hospitals are among only three in Phoenix — and six hospitals in Arizona — to receive this honor, which is granted by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
The focus of our Chest Pain Centers is re-establishing coronary blood flow to patients, as quickly and safely as possible.
In emergency heart care, "time is muscle." If heart attack symptoms are caused by a blockage in the heart's arteries, the faster we can unblock the artery and restore circulation to the affected heart muscle, the better the chances are for recovery.
Teamwork Makes a Difference
"At an accredited Chest Pain Center, patients receive the highest standard of care available and are more likely to survive and recover quickly."
— Tri Nguyen, MD
How we achieve results depends on collaboration and commitment:
- We work closely with pre-hospital personnel (ambulance and helicopter paramedics, as well as firefighters), so that evaluation and treatment starts in the field for patients who call 9-1-1 because of chest pain.
- Our clinical teams are specially trained in emergency heart care. Their profound knowledge ensures that we continue to provide high-quality patient care in the Progressive Cardiac Care Unit.
- Our equipment and clinical procedures are state of the art. We've scrutinized every step in patient care so that every member of our cardiac care team recognizes the symptoms of a heart attack — which can be subtle in some cases — and knows how to respond according to protocols for accurately diagnosing and treating potential heart attack patients.
The Chest Pain Center Accreditation Process
Learn about the signs of heart attack and how you can trust John C. Lincoln for emergency heart care.
To earn accreditation status as a Chest Pain Center with PCI, John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital and North Mountain Hospital each needed to meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria. Our hospitals also underwent on-site evaluations by a team of reviewers from the international Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC).
Much of the evaluation focuses on process improvement: Are steps in place to give chest-pain patients expedited, expert care? SCPC reviewers also wanted to know whether our physicians are able to monitor patients when it is not certain whether they are having heart-related events. This monitoring capability wards against sending patients home too early or admitting them to the CCU prematurely.
Eight Key Areas for Accreditation
To become accredited Chest Pain Centers, John C. Lincoln's hospitals have demonstrated expertise in eight key areas:
1. Effective integration with the local Emergency Medical System: Closely collaborating with pre-hospital paramedics and EMTs to standardize care processes.
2. Ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients quickly: Beating the recommendation for 90-minute door-to-balloon time is one way in which we meet this standard.
3. Capacity to care for patients who are suffering chest pain: Many patients have chest pain, but remain a low risk for a heart attack. A systematic approach to patient management is necessary to provide appropriate care, depending on risk levels.
4. Functional facility design: At North Mountain Hospital, the state-of-the-art Emergency and Level I Trauma Center opened in October 2007. Likewise, in 2004 Deer Valley Hospital unveiled a new Emergency Department in Pavilion II. Both facilities were designed to maximize staff efficiency, maintain fast time-to-treatment and incorporate advanced heart-monitoring equipment.
5. Personnel competencies and training: Leadership, physicians and nursing staff are carefully trained to specialize in care for patients with heart attack symptoms.
6. Organizational structure and commitment: Our administration, medical staff and executive leadership are committed to support our Chest Pain Centers for the benefit of our community.
7. A focus on improving care: John C. Lincoln's management structure has adopted a continuous quality improvement program that ensures a high quality of patient care and careful use of emergency department resources.
8. Community outreach: Through a variety of public-service announcements, we have helped to educate our community about:
- The risk factors for heart disease.
- The need to promptly seek medical care if heart attack symptoms arise.