First Primary Heart Attack Center Certified in Time for American Heart Month

February 10, 2020

The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association have named the first Primary Heart Attack Center (PHAC) certified hospital, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, Texas, just in time for American Heart Month.

American Heart Month celebrates what can maintain and improve heart health – including a balanced diet, exercise and regular visits with a primary care provider. However, this month and every month, in the event of a heart attack, hospitals with PHAC certification or another Advanced Cardiac certification can help reassure patients that their emergency care providers are highly prepared, experts on best practices and effective coordinators of care from the ambulance ride and admission to discharge from the hospital, helping to save patients’ lives.

PHAC certification is one of The Joint Commission’s four Advanced Cardiac certifications offered in collaboration with the American Heart Association. The certification standardizes and improves coordinated systems of care across settings regarding identification, assessment, monitoring, management, data sharing and performance improvement for multidisciplinary ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attack care.

“The PHAC certification journey helped Texas Health Fort Worth highlight the process leading to a positive outcome for the patient,” said Susan Frugè, MHA, BSN, RN, Chest Pain Coordinator, Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. “By adopting the metric guidelines and The Joint Commission’s PHAC standards, we have benchmarks to guide our process improvement plans. The metric guidelines encouraged Texas Health Fort Worth to break down the process to reach the goal and maintain the goal,” of quality heart attack care.

The Advanced Cardiac certifications also include Acute Heart Attack Ready, Advanced Heart Failure and Comprehensive Cardiac Center. These certifications have been designed to complement multiple health care settings, including hospitals, critical access hospitals and freestanding emergency rooms operated under a hospital.


For more information about PHAC certification and other Advanced Cardiac certifications, please visit The Joint Commission’s website.

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