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    Sutter Medical Center Second in Nation to Receive Atrial Fibrillation Certification

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb., 7, 2012 - Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento became the second cardiac care center in the nation and the first in California to receive full Atrial Fibrillation Certification status from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC). The announcement comes as the nation ushers in American Heart Month, which is designed to educate the public on heart disease.

    Atrial fibrillation, also called A-Fib, is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and has become recognized as a health concern that in some cases can lead to stroke and possible death. Nearly 3 million patients in the United States have atrial fibrillation and the numbers are rapidly increasing as the population ages. Atrial fibrillation patients use more healthcare services and have much higher healthcare costs than those without the disease. SCPC’s goal is to help facilities evaluate and manage the atrial fibrillation patient more effectively, improve patient outcomes, and educate patients and healthcare providers to more efficiently care for this disease.

    “Over the years, our heart and stroke teams have developed a program that offers many options for our patients who have atrial fibrillation, and we have become a national leader in the recognition, management and treatment for this serious health disease,” said David Roberts, M.D., medical director of the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute. “We are pleased to receive this important certification that recognizes our unique expertise in atrial fibrillation.”

    Sutter Medical Center offers a variety of treatment options for patients who have atrial fibrillation, including a large-volume electrophysiology program offering atrial fibrillation ablation as well as surgical options that include both the traditional Maze procedure as well as the less-invasive, thoracoscopic mini-Maze procedure.

    According to the SCPC, Sutter Medical Center demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing a comprehensive review. Sutter Medical Center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient evaluation and management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment and to risk-stratify patients to decrease their length of stay in the emergency department and the hospital, the SCPC said.

    In addition to the variety of treatments for atrial fibrillation, the Sutter Medical Center program met the high certification standard for multiple reasons, including:

    • Volume and successful outcomes for patients with atrial fibrillation as a primary and secondary diagnosis
    • Education of emergency medical services, hospital staff and physicians in regard to recognition, management and treatment options for atrial fibrillation
    • Community outreach with cardiac care services
    • A Certified Chest Pain and Stroke Center to treat this patient population.

    About Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute
    Headquartered at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute helps people of all ages deal with mild to life-threatening heart conditions. It is home to the only heart transplant and ventricular assist device programs in Northern California outside the Bay Area, and is the only Endoscopic Vein Harvesting Center of Excellence in the Western United States. Through rapid diagnoses, complex surgeries, non-surgical interventions and one of the most extensive research programs in the region, Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute maintains its tradition of excellence in care for infants, children and adults. For more information on Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute, visit the website

    About the Society of Chest Pain Centers
    The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of healthcare. For more information on SCPC, accreditation and certification opportunities, visit, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.

    About Sutter Health
    Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.

    For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, please visit: | | |

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