Swain Community and Harris Regional Hospitals Achieve New Status as Accredited Chest Pain Center

February 13, 2017

Swain Community and Harris Regional Hospitals have received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), the accrediting arm of the American College of Cardiology. This comes as great news to our communities as Harris and Swain continue to stay committed to the needs of our community and having the education, skill set and awareness to care for higher acuity cardiac events.

Swain Community Hospital and Harris Regional Hospital  provide emergency, lifesaving medical care in partnership with local first responders

Swain Community Hospital and Harris Regional Hospital have received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), the accrediting arm of the American College of Cardiology. SCPC is an international not-for-profit organization focused on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction.

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 healthcare 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, Harris and Swain engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To western North Carolina, 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

“Earning Chest Pain Center accreditation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our clinical team, our community partners and the SCPC, who have been working collaboratively to ensure our hospital is prepared to provide high quality care to patients when heart attacks strike,” said Steve Heatherly, Swain Community Hospital and Harris Regional Hospital CEO “Harris and Swain’s top priority is to provide quality healthcare close to home, and this accomplishment demonstrates one of the many ways we continually work to enhance and improve our service.”

Harris Regional and Swain Community Hospitals address the entire continuum of care for the heart patient, including important areas such as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, quality assurance plan, and the community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.

Part of LifePoint Health, Harris and Swain are one of 35 LifePoint facilities pursuing SCPC accreditation in 2016, demonstrating the company-wide commitment to enhancing quality and ensuring excellent service and care in the emergency department. With this designation, Harris and Swain joins the group of 24 LifePoint facilities that earned accreditation in 2015. The partnership between LifePoint Health and SCPC for collaborative training and hospital accreditation demonstrates the organizations’ common focus on high quality medical care for patients.

“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” said Steve Heatherly, CEO “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. With our new accreditation, we hope to bring greater awareness to the importance of timely care and help even more people in western North Carolina”