It was announced this week that Community Medical Center has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology Accreditation Services.

The hospital joins two other hospitals in Montana with this distinction, Billings Clinic & St. Vincent Healthcare.

Dr. Matthew Weiss, Non-Invasive Cardiology, Billings Clinic Heart and Vascular at Community Medical Center provided details of the distinction.

“Yes, we're really proud of this distinction,” said Dr. Weiss. “It's called a Chest Pain Center accreditation, and it's awarded to us and honored upon us by the leading cardiology organization in the United States, the American College of Cardiology, for this institution Community Medical Center and in partnership with Billings Clinic.”

Dr. Weiss said speed is of the essence whenever dealing with a possible heart attack.

“One of the goals of becoming a Chest Pain Accredited Center like we are now is to really be efficient in these processes,” he said. “Reducing the time from when the patient feels something, to when they're able to contact EMS to the time that EMS is able to get them to our emergency services to whether we need to open our cardiac catheterization lab, which is the place where we can put in heart stents and treat heart attacks.”

Community Medical Center Public Information Officer Megan Condra pointed out a state of the art advantage of their new accreditation.

“When you do call 911, the EMS crews oftentimes will be able to do an EKG right there and determine what's going on and send that back to our cardiologist,” said Condra. “So they can immediately be assessing the patient before the patient even gets here. That way, as soon as they roll into the hospital, our doctors are here; our teams are here, and we're ready and waiting for him.”

Dr. Weiss said the Chest Pain Center Accreditation is not the only improvement coming to the hospital.

“Community Medical Center is also proud to have recently announced that we're rebuilding our emergency room and expanding it,” he said. “It's going to be a better place for patient care with more individual rooms, more space, some new equipment that includes radiology based equipment. In addition, we're geriatric friendly. so there are a lot of improvements that have to do with access of getting into the hospital and frankly, again, when timeliness is so important, the emergency room is a key part of the cardiology treatment as well.”

Community Medical Center and Billings Clinic partnered to provide expanded high quality cardiac care in Western Montana and Idaho with the creation of the Billings Clinic Heart and Vascular Center at Community Medical Center.


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