Geisinger Hospitals in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton Certified as Comprehensive Heart Attack Centers


Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (GWV) and Geisinger Community Medical Center (GCMC) recently became the second and third hospitals in the nation to achieve full Joint Commission/American Heart Association (AHA) heart attack center certification, joining Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) in Danville to set a national precedent for coordination among care teams treating patients on the heart attack spectrum.

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, depriving the heart of oxygen. Much of the damage to heart muscle occurs within a short period of time after a heart attack, so timely care is essential to preserve heart function.

“No one expects to have a heart attack, but when it does, we provide extraordinary care close to home for our patients and members,” said Yassir Nawaz, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology and Co-Director Medical Center Comprehensive Heart Attack Center. Certification program for the northeast region of Geisinger. “With three board-certified medical centers, we take a whole-team approach to diagnosing and treating patients with chest pain in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.”

At GWV, GCMC and GMC, patients with chest pain can expect to receive the highest level of care as quickly as possible.

To do this, hospital leaders, interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, advanced practitioners, nurses, emergency physicians, heart failure specialists, resuscitation specialists, emergency medical service providers (EMS), pharmacists and care managers must work closely together to accommodate a patient’s unique situation. care needs. After a heart attack, cardiac rehabilitation therapists are also an integral part of the team.

Already recognized as Joint Commission/AHA Mission Lifeline® Heart Attack Reception Centers for their ability to treat the most severe type of heart attack by restoring blood flow to the heart, GWV and GCMC have shown their commitment to improving the health of patients and members in northeastern Pennsylvania by achieving certification. They are prepared to care for all patients with chest pain, including those who:

Going to the ER with chest pain

Having heart attacks and needing to restore blood flow quickly

Having a cardiac arrest outside a hospital

Need open heart surgery

Need for advanced therapies for heart failure or life support

“Whether a patient presents with mild chest pain or a serious cardiac event, it’s all on deck,” said Cinde Bower-Stout, RN, MHA, Cardiovascular Quality Manager and Comprehensive Heart Attack Certification Program Director. Center at Geisinger. “First-line day-to-day care after a heart attack is just as important. Laboratory assessment, pain management, and preparation for discharge and self-care through education and therapy are all key factors for patients to achieve and maintain a good quality of life.

The rigorous on-site review at both medical centers included evaluating the records of patients currently admitted or cared for year-to-date and assessing quality measures, including leadership commitment, collaboration with EMS, medical decision-making, systems approach to quality improvement. , performance improvement projects and engagement with bedside pharmacy.

“Full Heart Attack Center Certification recognizes healthcare organizations committed to driving continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” said Mark Pelletier, RN. . “We commend Geisinger for having the first three hospitals to reduce clinical process variation and strengthen the program structure and management framework for cardiac patients.”


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