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Putnam General Hospital Becomes Georgias First Critical Access Hospital to Receive Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Highest Level of Heart Care Provided in Eatonton's Local Community Hospital

EATONTON, GA (Thursday, September 10, 2015) - Putnam General Hospital (PGH) in Eatonton, Ga. has received full Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). PGH becomes the first and only critical access hospital in Georgia to receive this distinction.

“Putnam General has provided the highest standard of care for the residents of Georgia's lake country for almost 50 years. Accreditation as a Chest Pain Center (CPC) symbolizes our commitment to high caliber heart care, and we are pleased to be the first community hospital in the state to earn this distinction. Our community can trust Putnam General for the best in treatment when they or a loved one experience chest pain or symptoms of heart attack,” said Alan Horton, CEO of PGH.

PGH's evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to cardiac patient care allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack.  In addition, chest pain centers like PGH better monitor patients when it is not clear if a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

In order to achieve CPC accreditation, PGH underwent a rigorous examination process. SCPC's accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists. By achieving CPC accreditation, PGH has demonstrated expertise in the following areas:

  • 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 CPC 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.

“Patients who arrive at Putnam General with chest pain or symptoms of heart attack can count on efficient and effective evaluation as well as appropriate and rapid treatment. We are also committed to promoting healthier lifestyles in an attempt to reduce the risk of heart attack,” said Adam Bedgood, CPC Coordinator and Emergency Department Manager for PGH.

Patients in need of additional, specialized heart care will also benefit through PGH's partnership with Atrium Health Navicent in Macon, Ga. On July 7, 2014, PGH and Atrium Health Navicent announced their intent to enter a strategic partnership in order to create and expand healthcare services for the Eatonton, Ga. area. The primary goal of this partnership is to improve the value of healthcare for patients, providers and payors through joint services focused on quality and increased local service offerings.

Through this partnership, PGH patients also enjoy increased coverage along the continuum of care, enhanced outpatient services and increased access to specialists. For example, patients treated at PGH for chest pain or heart attack, but in need of more specialized cardiac care, are easily and efficiently able to access to the nationally ranked cardiac and heart surgery program at the Medical Center, Navicent Health.

PGH and Atrium Health Navicent are setting the standard for a national trend in strategic community alliances. The two parties are also members of Stratus Healthcare, a strategic non-equity network of health systems, hospitals and physicians that was formed in July 2013. The strategic partnership between Atrium Health Navicent and PGH allows the healthcare entities to work together in a more formal manner.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain.