Appalachian Regional Healthcare System announced that Watauga Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for Chest Pain Certification.

Watauga Medical Center underwent a rigorous on-site review in February 2018. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with national disease-specific care standards as well as with chest pain-specific requirements. Clinical practice guidelines and performance measures also were assessed.

"Watauga Medical Center has thoroughly demonstrated a high level of care for patients with chest pain,"said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. "We commend Watauga Medical Center for becoming a leader in chest pain care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for chest pain patients in its community."

Established in 2002 and awarded for a two-year period, The Joint Commission's Disease-Specific Care Certification evaluates clinical programs across the continuum of care and addresses three core areas:
-Compliance with consensus-based national standards;
-Effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and
-An organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

"We are pleased to receive the Chest Pain Certification from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation," added Kim Bianca, Senior Vice President for Hospitals & Acute Care Services for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. "The certification recognizes our commitment to providing excellence in patient care for our community."

About Watauga Medical Center
Watauga Medical Center is a 117-bed regional referral medical complex, offering both primary and secondary acute and specialty care. Services offered at the Medical Center include laboratory, imaging, radiology, rehabilitation therapy, respiratory therapy, surgical services, cancer treatment, emergency services, pain management, and cardiovascular services.
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About The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Learn more about The Joint Commission at