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Chest Pain Center Certification

ACC offers a certification process that helps Critical Access Hospitals and FreeStanding EDs establish innovative methods of care for LOW-RISK, NSTE-ACS, and STEMI patients.

Chest Pain Center CertificationTM

ACC’s Chest Pain Center Certification tool employs scientifically sound quality initiatives and best practices designed to demonstrate a commitment to your patients, your community, and your talented team of clinicians, administrators, and policymakers.

Participation in the Chest Pain-MI Registry™ is a requirement for Chest Pain Center Certification.

On-Demand Chest Pain Center Certification Webinars

Want to learn more about the benefits of Chest Pain Center Certification? Our service line specialists have recorded informational webinars that provide an overview of key topics and explain how your steps toward process improvement can provide valuable insight into the performance and management of a goal-driven CV service line.

There are two types of designations for Chest Pain Center Certification. 

Certification for Critical Access Hospitals

This designation is offered to Critical Access Hospitals meeting CMS definition, including having no more than 25 acute care beds. These hospitals play a critical role in serving the needs of rural communities. CAHs seeking CPC Certification must have a formal transfer (referral) protocol in place to manage STEMI and other possible or known ACS patients requiring a higher level of care. 

Certification for FreeStanding EDs

This designation is offered to licensed FreeStanding EDs (separate physical addresses from a hospital) with the capability to provide emergent medical care. FSEDs seeking CPC Certification must have written protocols and a formal transfer (referral) protocol in place to manage STEMI and other possible or known ACS patients requiring a higher level of care.    

Chest Pain Center (CPC) Certification is modeled upon the well-established CPC Accreditation tool. Like the Accreditation tool, this program is designed to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease on patients as well as on the clinicians that assess, treat, and manage the CV population. As a Certification, the tool has been right-sized for Critical Access Hospitals and FreeStanding EDs to produce a more efficient method of care for possible and known ACS populations.

Each facility that begins Chest Pain Center Certification is assigned an expert navigator to assist them along the certification journey. ACC's Accreditation Review Specialists are highly dedicated clinicians with real-world experience treating cardiovascular (CV) patients in the hospital setting. Individually and collectively, they are an indispensable resource for those who are committed to implementing the essential elements of quality improvement.


Certification training prepares facilities to begin the quality and process improvement journey. Each ACC Certification includes comprehensive education to orient your staff to the fundamental elements of the certification process. 

Note: The Certification purchase process (including ACC business agreement and payment for initial year of Certification participation or recurring annual payment) must be completed in order to gain access to the Certification tool and related training. Please contact accreditationinfo@acc.org for more information.


The American College of Cardiology publishes several highly-regarded journals, including the weekly Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). Some of the tools and features of the JACC publications are only available to subscribers or users with an online account.


CardioSmart is the patient education and empowerment initiative developed by the American College of Cardiology. Included on the website are great tools for clinicians as well as caregivers and CV patients who want to better understand how to prevent, treat and manage cardiovascular disease.

We are often asked about the long-term vision of Chest Pain Center Certification and topics related to the diagnosis and treatment of patients who present with symptoms of a heart attack. Included here are a few of the responses to some of the more commonly asked questions we receive about Chest Pain Center Certification.

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