Chest Pain Center

May 11, 2011


 Mercy Hospital in Washington, Mo.

Mercy Hospital Washington received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international organization dedicated to eliminating heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide.

“This accreditation assures the public of what we have always known – that our hospital has the staff, training and equipment necessary to treat patients who are having chest pain and heart attacks,” said Terri L. McLain, president of  Mercy Hospital. “It is testimony from the Society of Chest Pain Centers that your community hospital has the mechanisms in place to save lives.”

Mercy Hospital Washington is one of 22 facilities in the state to earn the Chest Pain Center accreditation from the SCPC and is one of just seven facilities in the St. Louis area to earn the distinction.

Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the health care system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.

To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Mercy Hospital engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. This means that 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

“The average patient waits too long after the onset of symptoms before arriving in the emergency department,” said Mercy Heart and Vascular cardiologist Dr. Joseph Polizzi. “The sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient.”

Mercy Hospital’s state-of-the-art health care encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and includes dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cardiac catheterization lab, quality assurance plan and community outreach programs. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, the hospital has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers: Established in 1998, SCPC is a patient-centric nonprofit international organization focused on improving care for patients with heart disease. Central to SCPC’s mission is the question, “What is right for the patient?” In response, SCPC promotes protocol-based medicine, often delivered through a chest pain center model, to address the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndrome and heart failure and to promote the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers. To best fulfill this mission, SCPC provides accreditation and education to facilities striving for optimum cardiac care. SCPC is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on SCPC and accreditation opportunities, visit, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.


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