Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) continues to lead the way in providing life-saving heart and vascular care, and its hospitals have the credentials to prove it. Four hospital campuses of Northeast Georgia Medical Center were reaccredited in 2023 with the designation of Emergency Cardiac Care Center (ECCC), recognizing the level of care patients receive at those locations. It is just one more example of how our innovative care continually saves and improves lives.

1st in the state of georgia to receive emergency cardiac care center designation

In 2020, NGHS made history by becoming the first health system in the state with hospitals receiving the ECCC designation. Awarded by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), this accreditation means that when you or someone you know has a heart attack, you can trust NGMC – and the interventional cardiologists of Georgia Heart Institute – to provide fast and effective treatment.

Healthcare organizations seeking ECCC designation from the Georgia DPH
undergo a thorough evaluation process, including a site inspection and an assessment of emergency cardiac care processes and equipment. Once these steps are complete, the Georgia DPH uses a three-level designation system to rank the capabilities of each facility:

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

Based on these specifications, NGMC Gainesville received Level 1 designation, NGMC Braselton received Level 2 designation and NGMC Barrow and NGMC Lumpkin both received Level 3 designation.

It’s important to remember that treatment for a heart attack and cardiac arrest starts long before a patient enters the hospital. When EMS responds to a call, they’re able to start caring for the patient immediately. At the same time, they’re able to connect with the hospital while in transport, share vital information and by the time they arrive onsite, NGMC teams are already prepared to care for the patient and provide a seamless transition.

Ultimately, this designation speaks to the robust services offered at NGMC hospitals and the level at which care is provided. In emergency situations, cardiac interventions need to be provided as swiftly as possible and at the highest level – our teams have risen to provide unmatched life-saving care time and time again.

While we’ve always provided emergency care that’s second to none, we are dedicated to continually finding new and better ways to care for our patients – ensuring healthier tomorrows.