NNRH earns accreditation as Chest Pain Center

April 26, 2018

ELKO, Nevada – The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have recognized Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital (NNRH) for its demonstrated expertise in treating patients with chest pain. The hospital was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation in March based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to treat patients experiencing a heart attack.

“NNRH has demonstrated its commitment to providing northeastern Nevada with excellent heart care,” said Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “We are proud to award NNRH with Chest Pain Center Accreditation.”

According to the ACC, hospitals that have earned Chest Pain Center Accreditation have proven exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms. They have streamlined their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment all the way through to post-discharge care and assistance in patient lifestyle changes.

“This accreditation is truly an honor,” said Steve Simpson, CEO of NNRH. “I’m proud of our staff members who have worked diligently for over a year to achieve this. They deserve all the credit.”

Ed Johnson, director of the Emergency Department at NNRH, said that earning the accreditation was a collaborative effort.

“This required cooperation between several hospital departments including Admitting, the ER, the Heart Center, ICU, Case Management -- pretty much everybody,” Johnson said. He noted that agencies outside the hospital were also involved in the process, including the Elko County Ambulance Service, MedEx AirOne, and other first responders.

“It takes a whole team of professionals to provide timely, life-saving care during a heart attack,” Johnson stated. “We are very thankful for our local EMS personnel who are great community partners.”

Simpson noted that continued coordination between all departments will be key to maintaining the accreditation.

“This isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing,” Simpson said. He explained that all hospital staff members will be required to complete annual training in identifying the signs of a heart attack. The ACC will also continue to monitor NNRH’s performance.

“Being a Chest Pain Center requires regular review of our cardiac procedures and our standard of care,” said Simpson. “All this aligns well with our hospital’s focus on continual quality enhancement for the sake of our patients.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms. Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw; shortness of breath; cold sweat; unusual tiredness; heartburn-like feeling; nausea or vomiting; sudden dizziness or fainting.

Individuals who think they may be suffering a heart attack should dial 9-1-1 immediately.

Doctors and staff from NNRH are joined by EMS personnel and members of the Governing Board
as the hospital celebrates earning its Chest Pain Center Accreditation.