Monday, May 04, 2015 - STPH Chest Pain Center Reaccredited




COVINGTON – St. Tammany Parish Hospital has earned full reaccreditation with PCI from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. The faster response to heart attack the more effective, so knowing where the nearest accredited chest pain center is can save a patient’s life. The reaccreditation is for three years.

Leading the Northshore and the state, St. Tammany Parish Hospital earns high marks with 97 percent of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients receiving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) within 90 minutes of arrival or less. PCI opens blocked blood vessels and restores blood flow to the heart. The earlier PCI is performed, the more effective it is.

“We are excited to earn this national recognition for our commitment to rapid quality care,” said STPH President and CEO Patti Ellish FACHE. “We truly thank our specialized physicians, trained hospital staff and the dedicated first responders in our parish who make emergency heart care response so successful.”

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than 5 million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

The Accredited Chest Pain Center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

With the increase in chest pain centers 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.

The Accredited Chest Pain Center at St. Tammany Parish 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 SPCP’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

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” said Teresa Krutzfeldt RN, director of critical care services at STPH. “The average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms, but what they don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome for the patient. The most important thing someone can do when they begin feeling chest pain symptoms is to call 911.”


A full-service acute care facility committed to providing world-class healthcare and the latest technology, St. Tammany Parish Hospital delivers today’s life-improving procedures with the utmost care to area residents with emphasis on wellness, preventive care and disease management close to home. STPH is a self-supporting not-for-profit community hospital; it receives no ad valorem tax funding.

The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of healthcare.   For more information on SCPC, accreditation and certification opportunities, visit, or call toll free (877) 271-4176.