NMCP’s Chest Pain Center Earns Reaccreditation, Adds Primary PCI Accreditation

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) — Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) announced July 26 that the medical center was reaccredited by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Accreditation Services as a Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation.

The accreditation shows NMCP is capable of providing the highest quality of care for heart attack patients and that heart attack patients receive treatment within a critical time period. Receiving treatment during this critical period can lessen damage to the heart.

“This accreditation was a result of a long period of work done by many people and spearheaded by our CPC director, Cmdr. Nelle Linz,” said Capt. Christopher Culp, NMCP’s commanding officer. “The accreditation team was beyond enthused with our program. The requirements were not only noted to be met, but they were very well met.”

During the accreditation site visit, a member of the accreditation team noted that “your door-to-PCI (stent placement) was in 90 minutes and you’re 100 percent compliant with that, which is outstanding. I can stay that I’ve not been to another facility that is 100 percent compliant for door-to-PCI. Your length of stay for observation is 4.63 hours with the use of Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CT scanning) for your lower-risk population patient groups, which is by far the best observation length of stay that I’ve seen nationwide. (And your) chest pain medical director is absolutely remarkable (in the work she has done).”

NMCP had originally been accredited as a CPC in 2013 as the first and the only military treatment facility to receive the accreditation. A requirement of the accreditation is that facilities must have a robust and detailed transfer protocol in place so that the time from first medical contact by emergency medical services (EMS) to intervention in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab is less than 120 minutes.

The accreditation means that, in addition to TRICARE beneficiaries, anyone who is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack can be brought to the medical center by EMS if NMCP is the closest CPC-accredited medical facility. With the reaccreditation, local residents can continue to receive the best emergency cardiac care at NMCP.

“We first achieved accreditation back in 2013,” said Linz, who is an interventional cardiologist. “(With the PCI designation), we’ve upgraded our accreditation now to have more detail about our capabilities with Cardiac Catheterization Lab services for heart attack care, so it’s a much more comprehensive accreditation. This accreditation really gives us a great reputation within the community as to what we can provide in terms of services.”

The upgraded accreditation adds Primary PCI, which stands for percutaneous coronary intervention and was formerly known as angioplasty with stent. The non-surgical procedure uses a catheter to place a small structure called a stent to open up blood vessels in the heart that have been narrowed by plaque buildup.

The PCI designation requires that a call team made up of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab staff and an interventional cardiologist must arrive at the facility within 30 minutes of activation of heart attack protocols.

In order to add the designation, Linz said there were national benchmarks that NMCP was required to meet.

“There were 262 different metrics and requirements that we had to meet to achieve this accreditation,” Linz said. “We were evaluated over a three-year time period, and the accreditation will last for three years. It’s an absolute honor to be the director of the Chest Pain Center at NMCP. I have a dedicated team. Without having that dedication, we would never get to where we needed to be, to bridge communication between quality and safety all the way up through cardiology. So we are very excited about it.”

As the U. S. Navy’s oldest, continuously-operating hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, including its nine branch clinics located throughout the Hampton Roads area, additionally offers premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen for future roles in healing and wellness.

For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit www.navy.mil/local/NMCP/.

Article source: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=106492

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