Rutherford Regional Health System Achieves New Status as an Accredited Chest Pain Center

December 12, 2016

Rutherford Regional Health System
Achieves New Status as an Accredited Chest Pain Center
RRHS provides emergency, lifesaving medical care in partnership with local first responders

RUTHERFORDTON – Rutherford Regional Health System (RRHS) announced this week it has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), the accrediting arm of the American College of Cardiology.

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, RRHS engaged in a rigorous year-long evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the Rutherford County community 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 Pam Harrison, RRHS Chief Nursing Officer. “By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, we’ve enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and committed to higher standards”

Harrison added that care for the heart patient includes important areas such as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, cardiac rehab, quality assurance, and Rutherford Regional’s community outreach program.


Jason Carney, emergency department director at RRHS, said, “People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake. 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 Rutherford County and the surrounding areas.”

Part of LifePoint Health, RRHS is one of 35 LifePoint facilities that pursued SCPC accreditation in 2016. With this designation, RRHS joins the group of 24 LifePoint facilities that earned accreditation in 2015.

The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care 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.