Walla Walla General Joins Elite Circle
The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) has granted the designation of Accredited Chest Pain Center to Walla Walla General Hospital (WWGH), making it the eighth accredited Chest Pain Center in Washington.
"The society's seal of accreditation is an important distinction for Walla Walla General Hospital," says David Woolever, WWGH chief medical officer. "This accreditation certifies that our hospital and staff are totally prepared to care for patients with heart attack symptoms more quickly during the critical early stages of a heart attack when treatments are more effective and patients recover more easily."
The investment in establishing an Accredited Chest Pain Center demonstrates WWGH's ongoing commitment to providing superior team-centered cardiac care. "Chest Pain Center accreditation is possible because of the ongoing collaboration between our emergency center, cardiology team, hospitalists, nurses and Walla Walla County EMS,” says Linda Givens, WWGH emergency and critical care services director. "This team ensures that rapid assessment, diagnosis and high-quality care is delivered to each patient who comes to our hospital with chest pain."
Chest pain is among the top symptoms of patients who visit the WWGH emergency center. The Chest Pain Center designation ensures that any patient who arrives at WWGH complaining of chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack can be confident he or she is receiving care that meets or exceeds the highest national standards of care. Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise and constantly emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs.
To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, WWGH has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by undergoing a rigorous evaluation of its care and processes by SCPC. For the Walla Walla community, this means processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:
Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment;
Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved;
Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital.
"We are proud of this recognition of our commitment to providing excellent emergency and cardiac care to the Walla Walla area," says Monty Knittel, WWGH president and CEO. "Our mission calls us to heal, and working to receive this accreditation demonstrates that commitment to our community. This is the next step in our ongoing efforts to provide the best cardiac care in Walla Walla."
During the last few years, WWGH has focused on improving the speed and quality of the emergency center, brought on a highly qualified cardiologist, opened a cardiac catherization lab, and started the area's only STEMI program performing emergency angioplasties and stents.