UAB Medical West Achieves New Status as Accredited Chest Pain Center 


UAB Medical West, an affiliate of UAB Health System, announces that it has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), an international not-for-profit organization that focuses 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, UAB Medical West engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by UAB Medical West, 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


“People tend to wait when they think they might be having a heart attack, and that’s a mistake,” states David Denney, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at UAB Medical West. “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.”


UAB Medical West’s state-of-the-art healthcare encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient and includes such focal points as dispatch, Emergency Medical System, emergency department, cath lab, UAB Medical West’s quality assurance plan, and UAB Medical West’s community outreach program. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, UAB Medical West has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patient and has demonstrated its commitment to higher standards.


“I am proud of the efforts made by our staff and physicians to receive this prestigious honor. It is one more example of the continued growth achievements of UAB Medical West, “ stated Tom R. McDougal, Jr., CEO and President of UAB Medical West.