For the second consecutive year, the heart surgery program at Christiana Care Health System’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health has been awarded the highest quality rating—three stars—from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, a nonprofit organization of more than 6,000 surgeons, researchers and health care professionals worldwide.
The society’s comprehensive rating system compares the quality of heart surgery among hospitals across the country. Only 13.5 percent of 968 hospitals in the society’s cardiac-surgery database received the three-star rating for 2010.
Christiana Care’s heart surgery program includes a unique partnership with Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Del. Both programs received three-star quality ratings. Combined, the programs perform more than 850 open-heart surgeries each year.
“Achieving the society’s highest national ranking places the cardiac surgery program at Christiana Care’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health among the top programs in the nation,” said Timothy J. Gardner, M.D., medical director and past president of the American Heart Association. “This prestigious recognition demonstrates the success of our cardiac surgeons in providing outstanding cardiovascular care to patients in Delaware and the region.”
“The Society’s rating is widely regarded by clinicians as the gold standard by which to evaluate cardiac surgery programs,” said Michael Banbury, M.D., the W. Samuel Carpenter III Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery at Christiana Care. “We received this award due to real coordination among all our team members at both program locations that allows our patients to move seamlessly through the care process.”
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons developed its comprehensive rating system to allow for nationwide comparisons regarding the quality of heart surgery among hospitals. The system analyzes many different cardiac surgical data categories on a yearly basis to determine which hospitals meet its stringent qualifications for the three-star rating. Christiana Care’s rating is for the period January 2010–December 2010. The previous year’s rating was for January 2009–December 2009.
The data categories include avoidance of mortality and major complications, use of arteries as bypass grafts and ensuring patients receive all appropriate (evidence-based) medications pre- and post-operatively.