NewsAugust 24 2022

The Medical Center Receives ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation

A finger points at the word "accredited"

The American College of Cardiology has recognized The University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. UTMC was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary PCI in May based on rigorous evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms. Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, cold sweat, unusual tiredness, heartburn-like feeling, nausea or vomiting, sudden dizziness and fainting.

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.  Coronary angioplasty and stent placement are types of PCI.

“Providing high-quality care for our patients remains our top priority at The University of Tennessee Medical Center,” says Dr. Jay Crook, Vice President of the Heart Lung Vascular Institute at UTMC.   “Earning this accreditation from the American College of Cardiology, especially throughout this past year, is a great honor that affirms the dedication and commitment of our physicians, nurses and entire clinical team at the medical center to provide the highest quality care for our patients and our community”.

Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available 24/7 every day of the year. As required to meet the criteria of the accreditation designation, they comply with standard Chest Pain Center protocols.

“The University of Tennessee Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the region with excellent heart care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award UT Medical Center with Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation.”

Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves: completing a gap analysis; examining variances of care; developing an action plan; a rigorous review; and monitoring for sustained success. Improved methods and strategies of caring for patients include streamlining processes, implementing of guidelines and standards, and adopting best practices in the care of patients experiencing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and have organized a team of physicians, nurses, clinicians, and other administrative staff that earnestly support the efforts leading to better patient education and improved patient outcomes.

The ACC offers U.S. and international hospitals like UTMC access to a comprehensive suite of cardiac accreditation services designed to optimize patient outcomes and improve hospital financial performance. These services are focused on all aspects of cardiac care, including emergency treatment of heart attacks.