Ga Department of Public Health Designates East Georgia Regional Medical Center as a Level II Emergency Cardiac Care Center


The Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of EMS and Trauma recently designated East Georgia Regional Medical Center (EGRMC) as a Level II ECCC.

Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey, MD, MPH, Commissioner of DPH and State Health Officer, said, “The Department commends East Georgia Regional Medical Center and your staff for the commitment to excellence in emergency cardiac care provided at your facility. Improving out-of-hospital heart attack and cardiac arrest survival rates in Georgia is extremely important and aligns with public health’s desire to protect and enhance the health and lives of individuals throughout our state.

As Georgia’s designated emergency cardiac care center, the EGRMC has become an integral part of a growing statewide emergency cardiac care system. This new designation from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) means that when you or someone you know has a heart attack, you can continue to trust EGRMC to provide prompt and effective treatment.

“Receiving ECCC designation is an extraordinary achievement for our team,” said Tonya Eagle, Director of Cardiovascular Services at EGRMC. “But this achievement extends far beyond the walls of our hospital – connecting first responders, surrounding emergency departments and cardiologists across the region to ensure that every patient receives the level of care they need. need,” added Eagle.

Dr. Toomey added, “The Department applauds the East Georgia Regional Medical Center for this achievement and appreciates the contributions you make to the health and well-being of Georgians, as well as those who visit our state.

Healthcare organizations seeking ECCC designation by the DPH of Georgia undergo a thorough evaluation process, including a site inspection and evaluation of emergency cardiac care processes and equipment. Once these steps are completed, the Georgia DPH uses a three-tier designation system to rank each facility’s capabilities:

Tier 1 hospitals perform open-heart surgery and interventional cardiac catheterizations
Level 2 hospitals perform interventional cardiac catheterizations
Tier 3 hospitals stabilize patients until they are transported to a Tier 1 or 2 facility.

To improve these outcomes and reduce the burden of death from cardiovascular disease and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Georgia, legislation was enacted in 2017 establishing the Office of Cardiac Care within the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The mission of the Office of Cardiac Care is to improve survival rates in Georgia from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and heart attack (STEMI) through quality improvement, benchmarking, and guidelines. evidence-based, supported by standardized data collection and reporting. systems. The foundation for evaluating the emergency cardiac care system in Georgia is the establishment and maintenance of the cardiac registry.

They will achieve this by:

  • Assign designated levels to Emergency Cardiac Care Centers (Levels I, II, III) for hospitals that meet Emergency Cardiac Care Center criteria for public awareness and EMS.
  • Establish protocols for EMS to diagnose, triage, and transport cardiac patients to an appropriate cardiac resource hospital.
  • Require all designated heart disease hospitals at each level to submit out-of-hospital heart attack (STEMI) and cardiac arrest data to the Georgia Cardiac Registry (GCaR) data reporting system.
  • Provide data to help measure performance and improve results.
  • Benefits of Emergency Cardiac Care Center Designation
  • EMS will know what cardiac resources hospitals have and they will be able to get patients to the right treatment in time.

Hospitals will:

  • Strengthen Georgia’s emergency medical services system.
  • Ensure cardiac patients receive the appropriate treatment they need.
  • Save lives, reduce disabilities and improve quality of life.

The community will:

  • Have a designated emergency cardiac care center nearby.
  • Have peace of mind knowing that if they go to the hospital, they will receive the proper treatment. In some cases, this will involve transferring patients to higher level care. In other cases, EMS will take patients directly to another hospital.

Based on these specifications, EGRMC was given the Tier 2 designation.

“Receiving ECCC designation speaks volumes about the level of cardiac care provided by EGRMC,” said Stephen Pennington, CEO of EGRMC. “Our continued dedication to excellence in cardiac and vascular care – both routine and in emergency situations – saves lives throughout our community and beyond.”




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