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San Joaquin Community Hospital Receives Chest Pain Center Accreditation with PCI

Heart Health

The Chest Pain Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) has once again earned full accreditation with PCI from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). The status was first awarded to SJCH in June 2009.

“Taking the initiative to continue being an accredited Chest Pain Center shows how dedicated we are to the health of our community,” said SJCH President and CEO Robert J. Beehler. “In today’s changing world, it’s vital that we continue to challenge ourselves to provide top-quality, all-inclusive care to the people of Bakersfield and Kern County. It’s a commitment we’ve made since being the first hospital in Bakersfield to perform open-heart surgery in 1972, and we continue to go the extra mile to maintain accreditations as a Chest Pain Center.”

This most recent accreditation is valid through November 2015.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than 5 million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

The Accredited Chest Pain Center at SJCH’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early, nor needlessly admitted.

With the increase in chest pain centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. SCPC’s accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

The Accredited Chest Pain Center at SJCH has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing an onsite review by a team of SPCP’s accreditation review specialists. Key areas in which an Accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include the following:

  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
  • Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
  • Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel
  • Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
  • Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

For more information on the Society of Chest Pain Centers  contact Robert Lipetz, Executive Director at (614) 442-5950 or