CHI Memorial Hospitals Recognized for Excellence with ACC Chest Pain Center Accreditation


The American College of Cardiology has recognized CHI Memorial Hospital Chattanooga and Hospital Hixson for their demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. The hospitals were awarded accreditation based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. The accreditation is good for three years.

“Chest pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical treatment,” explains Diona Brown, market senior vice president, cardiovascular and neurosciences, CHI Memorial. “This accreditation recognizes the amazing work our physicians, nurses, and staff do to ensure our patients with chest pain are evaluated quickly and receive the appropriate medical treatment in a timely manner, providing the highest quality care to help improve their lives.”

Hospital Chattanooga earned the ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation. Hospitals with this accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or coronary angioplasty, available 24/7 every day of the year.  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.  As required to meet the criteria of the accreditation designation, the hospital complies with standard Chest Pain Center protocols and is equipped with a robust hypothermia program for post-cardiac arrest treatment.  The facility also maintains a "No Diversion Policy" for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients.

Hospital Hixson earned the ACC Chest Pain Center Accreditation.  Hospitals with this accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms. Hospital Hixson transfers appropriate patients who need immediate PCI to Hospital Chattanooga. The hospital has streamlined its 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. 

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.

“CHI Memorial has demonstrated its commitment to providing the Chattanooga area 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 CHI Memorial 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 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 earnestly support the efforts leading to better patient education and improved patient outcomes.

The ACC offers U.S. and international hospitals, like CHI Memorial, 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.