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Chest Pain Center Certification FAQs

ACC's Accreditation Service experts have posted the answers to several frequently asked questions about several important Chest Pain Center Certification topics.

If you are interested in learning more about Chest Pain Center Certification or any of our other Accreditation and Certification products, please contact us using the Contact Us Form or call us at 800-257-4739.


Kim Pheifer, BSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, AACC

Kim Pheifer, BSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, AACC
Accreditation Review Specialist

FAQ: Value of Chest Pain Center Certification

A. Chest Pain symptoms are the second most common complaint by adults presenting in the Emergency Departments (ED) in the US totaling over 6.5 million Chest Pain visits.  Over 50% of these patients will be found with a non-cardiac cause. Still, heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for men and women. Accurate diagnosis requires astute assessment and specific testing since admissions for many of these patients would lead to bed management shortages and cost overruns for a facility.

For FreeStanding ED (FSED), 95% of their patients are walk-ins. Previous assessment by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of the patient's Chest Pain that may have led to bypassing an FSED does not occur leaving the FSED to quickly assess the patient acuity and possible emergent transfer to a hospital. Similarly, Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) comprise 2/3 of all rural hospitals. These facilities provide the only acute care for remote communities with limited bed capacities.

Chest Pain Center (CPC) Certification for these facilities will help these types of facilities to develop processes and policies to meet the challenges of accurate diagnosis and treatment for the Chest Pain patient. With CPC Certification, we assist the facility in creating structured protocols utilizing evidence-based risk assessment and diagnostic tools with shared decision-making discussions with the patient that helps to identify those patients that should be admitted or transferred, those who will require additional testing, and those who can be discharged safely and confidently with appropriate follow-up care. These protocols will reduce ED length of stay, improve critical bed management, and lead to higher patient satisfaction. Improved patient throughput helps to reduce overall costs, reduce unnecessary care hours, and reduce return visits to the ED. CPC Certification leads to implementation of the most current guidelines and development of standardization of care, both known factors in improving patient outcomes. Our comprehensive approach helps to build teamwork and break down silos between departments and other care partners and facilities such as EMS and receiving hospitals. The CPC Certification process assures survey readiness and provides a platform to develop a continuous quality assurance culture within the facility.

In the current healthcare environment of shrinking resources and higher costs, the value to Critical Access Hospitals and FreeStanding ED to achieve CPC Certification is an essential tool for success.


Randy Harmon, MBA

Randy Harmon, MBA
Director of Business Development, ACC Accreditation Services

FAQ: Chest Pain Center Certification and Chest Pain – MI Registry Participation

A. While Chest Pain Center (CPC) Certification is modeled after the well-established CPC Accreditation tool, a very exciting difference is that the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR®) Chest Pain-MI Registry™ will serve as the data source for CPC Certification. With over ten years of proven results, the Chest Pain-MI Registry™ uses clinical data from over 2 million patient records to help hospitals improve their processes and patient outcomes. By participating in the Chest Pain-MI Registry™ your facility will receive real-time clinical performance data via interactive dashboards to help drive quality improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations. This powerful data can also be used for national benchmarking and government reporting requirements. Now Critical Access Hospitals and FreeStanding Emergency Departments can take advantage of the same up-to-date, evidence-based resources that over 1,000 hospitals use and trust every day via the Chest Pain-MI Registry™.


Nicole Roman, BSN, RN

Nicole Roman, BSN, RN
Accreditation Review Specialist

FAQ: Chest Pain Center Certification and Data Collection

A. Data for the Chest Pain-MI Registry™ is entered and submitted on a quarterly basis, although for Chest Pain Center Accreditation and Certification we request monthly. Concurrent data entry will give the best results as you can get real time metrics to monitor your facility's processes such as Door to EKG and Door in - door out (DIDO). On average, it takes a seasoned data abstractor about 10-15 minutes for a Low-Risk case, 30-40 minutes for a NSTEMI case, and 20-30 minutes for a STEMI case in the Basic Data Set. The more you do it, the faster you become. Once you enter data, there is a simple process to submit and each Monday you will be able to see your facility's dashboard. You can also see how you compare to hospitals of a similar size.

For Chest Pain Center Certification customers, the anticipated time and effort will be much lower than a tertiary facility. The patient volume and applicable data points collected for Critical Access Hospitals and FreeStanding Emergency Departments will be measurably less. Participating in this registry will provide your facility with quality metrics for each population, allowing you to keep a pulse on quality to identify areas of process improvement.


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