St. Francis accredited as Columbus' first chest pain center

St. Francis Hospital has received accreditation as Columbus' first chest pain center. It is now one of 10 chest pain centers in Georgia and 378 in the U.S.

"This prestigious accreditation is further evidence that St. Francis provides the highest level of cardiac care in our area," Kristie Johnson, St. Francis director of the Patrick Heart Institute and Noninvasive Cardiology, said in a statement. "It is a tribute to our cardiac and emergency teams who work quickly to assess and treat patients with chest pain to achieve the best possible outcomes."

The local hospital was accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers, a nonprofit international society that promotes protocol-based medicine to treat acute coronary syndromes and heart failure.

In order to get accredited, a facility has to complete the society's review process in eight areas, including emergency department integration with EMS, timely patient assessment, personnel and training, organizational structure and community outreach.

St. Francis' accreditation will last for three years and will expire June 25, 2011.

Besides Columbus, Georgia has accredited chest pain centers in cities such as Lawrenceville, Dalton, Macon, Albany and Marietta.