Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
17:25 PM

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono Certified as a Primary Heart Attack Center by The Joint Commission

Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono is the first hospital in Pennsylvania and one of just four in the U.S. to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Heart Attack Center Certification.

The ESSA Heart and Vascular Center at LVH-Pocono underwent a rigorous, onsite review in November. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“Primary Heart Attack Center Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for cardiac patients.”

“We congratulate Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono for this outstanding achievement,” says Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for cardiac patients.”

“Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono remains committed to providing the highest level of quality care to the communities we serve in Monroe County and surrounding areas,” said William K. Cors, MD, Chief Medical Officer, LVH–Pocono. “This recognition by The Joint Commission is a positive affirmation of the life-saving work done day in and day out by dedicated teams of professionals delivering care at this site.”

Certification requires applicants to report four standardized measures with emphasis on the cardiac catheterization lab and a non-surgical procedure to place a small structure called a stent (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, or PCI) to open blood vessels in the heart:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) within 10 minutes of arrival
  • Primary PCI within 90 minutes
  • EMS first medical contact within 90 minutes
  • Arrival at first facility to primary PCI within 120 minutes

To apply, hospitals also need to demonstrate 24/7 on-site primary PCI coverage for a very serious type of heart attack known as ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, or STEMI, and individual interventional cardiologist case volumes of at least 50 PCI procedures and 11 primary PCIs per year.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission’s website.