Lawrence General Hospital Recognized for Excellence with ACC Chest Pain Center Accreditation

April 23, 2024
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized Lawrence General Hospital for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. Lawrence General was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation in April based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
Lawrence General Hospital’s Heart and Vascular program was the first in Massachusetts to be accredited by the American College of Cardiologists, and is the only program now accredited in three areas: Chest Pain, Interventional Catheterization, and Congestive Heart Failure. Lawrence General also remains one of only a handful of programs nationwide to receive the prestigious HeartCARE Center of Excellence distinction from ACC.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 805,000 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.
Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms. They have streamlined their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment all the way through to appropriate post-discharge care and recommendations and assistance in patient lifestyle changes.
“Lawrence General Hospital has demonstrated its commitment to providing the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire 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 Lawrence General Hospital with Chest Pain Center Accreditation.”
Hospitals receiving Chest Pain Center 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 onsite 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 doctors, nurses, clinicians, and other administrative staff that support the efforts leading to better patient education and improved patient outcomes.
The team at Lawrence General Hospital says being recognized for excellence with the ACC Chest Pain Center Accreditation is important because when a patient is having a heart attack, it’s critical they have top emergency care close to home.
“When it comes to cardiac catheterization at Lawrence General Hospital, our team strives to get that heart artery open as quickly as possible because in an emergency situation, every minute counts, and any delay could mean the loss of valuable heart muscle,” says Kathy Caredeo, RN, director of Cardiovascular Services at Lawrence General Hospital. “We have a median Door-to-Balloon time of 65 minutes, and a 97% compliance of Door-to-Balloon times under the 90-minute national standard, which is outstanding.”
In addition to numerous patient quality achievements and this most recent ACC accreditation, Lawrence General Hospital holds The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and both the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Stroke Center Certification.
The ACC offers U.S. and international hospitals like Lawrence General 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.