The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients who come to a cardiac cath lab for care, including diagnostic catheterizations and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures. PMC was awarded Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation with PCI based on a rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who come to the cardiac cath lab.

Percutaneous coronary intervention is also known as coronary angioplasty, a non-surgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries with a balloon to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.

Hospitals that have proven exceptional competency in treating patients who require cardiac catheterization have taken appropriate steps to promote quality and patient safety, and that care in the procedure room for sedation, infection control, radiation safety, universal protocol and time-out procedures is fully coordinated. They have mastered the transfer to a cath recovery unit to better monitor and track complications, enhance physician-to-patient communication, patient-family communication, discharge instructions and follow-up information.

“Pikeville Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to providing Eastern Kentucky and surrounding regions with excellent heart care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award PMC with Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation with PCI.”

Hospitals receiving Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation with PCI from the ACC must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves: completing a gap analysis; examining variances of care; developing an action plan; a rigorous onsite review; and monitoring for sustained success. Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and have organized a team of doctors, nurses, clinicians and other administrative staff who earnestly support efforts leading to improved patient outcomes.

“We have worked diligently to meet and raise the standard for cardiac treatment year after year,” said PMC Cardiac Performance Improvement Nurse Practitioner Jamessa Scott. “I am grateful to work at a facility that strives to provide the best care possible to its patients, and receiving accreditations such as this is proof of that testament.”

PMC’s catheterization lab began as a mobile catheterization lab in 1992 as part of the cardiovascular service line. After many years of hard work and dedication to providing quality cardiovascular care to the region, PMC opened the Heart and Vascular Institute of Eastern Kentucky in 2019. The state-of-the-art facility added three catheterization labs to the two existing electrophysiology (EP) labs. The PMC cardiac cath labs allow specialists to perform various cardiac, vascular and EP procedures. These include but are not limited to transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), WATCHMAN, acute myocardial infarction, diagnostic catheterization, peripheral intervention, cardiogenic shock requiring Impella insertion, endovascular aortic aneurysm repair, permanent pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator placement and laser lead extractions.

PMC’s average “door to balloon” (D2B) time is 56 minutes, which is the time between a patient’s arrival in the emergency department (ED) and when a stent is placed. That is more than 30 minutes under the ACC’s recommended guidelines of 90 minutes. PMC streamlined its process by bringing ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients directly to the cath lab via the use of ED staff, emergency medical services staff and inpatient nurses. All STEMI patients from the ED are transported directly across the hall to the cath lab by ED staff, reducing D2B time by about 10 minutes. All transfers and STEMI patients from the field are brought directly to the cath lab, bypassing the ED completely.

The ACC offers U.S. and international hospitals access to a comprehensive suite of cardiac accreditation services designed to optimize patient outcomes and improve hospital financial performance. These services are focused on all aspects of cardiac care, including the cath lab.