Published on June 01, 2012

Genesis Receives Heart Surgery’s Highest Ranking

Genesis Cardiac Surgery has another honor to add to a year of excellence in patient care.

On the heels of earning a national award for patient satisfaction, it now has received the highest designation for quality in heart surgery.

Genesis received the highest composite quality rating -- three stars -- from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the world’s premier organization of cardiothoracic surgeons and researchers.

Only 10-15 percent of hospitals receive a 3-star rating. In the current analysis of national data, Genesis’ cardiac surgery performance was found to be in the highest quality tier from January, 2011 to December, 2011.

“We are honored to receive the 3-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS),” said Craig Sommers, executive director of Genesis Cardiac Services. “The STS rating is widely recognized as the gold standard for evaluating the quality of cardiac surgery programs.”

Although thousands of heart programs and heart surgeons submit data to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, it’s entirely voluntary, he added.

“Achieving the highest rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a reflection of the high quality of heart surgery care available at Genesis,” added Genesis cardiovascular surgeon Nicholas Augelli, M.D.

“The message to the communities we serve is that our heart surgery outcomes are ranked at the top of participating hospitals, and we excel in more than 10 quality measures.”

The STS represents more than 6,400 surgeons worldwide who operate on the thorax, or chest. Its Adult Cardiac Surgery Database includes more than 4.5 million surgical records and represents an estimated 94 percent of all adult cardiac surgery centers across the U.S., making it the largest such registry in the world.

Participating groups add data four times a year, providing an up-to-date picture of their surgical practices.

“The STS provides very, very specific information -- from hours on a ventilator and medication usage to complications ranging from infection to renal failure,” Dr. Augelli said. “We’re extremely proud that after this very critical, detailed analysis, we are ranked at the top in the nation.”

Quarterly review

Every quarter, a thick compilation of data arrives at Genesis from the STS. “We’re constantly reviewing it and looking for opportunities for improvement,” Sommers says. “We take a hard look at the data and work to make sure we’re doing the best we can for our patients.”

The STS ratings reflect results from heartbypass operations called coronary artery bypass grafting, or CABG. Quality measures are divided into four categories:

Patient survival: the percentage of patients surviving at least 30 days after surgery and who are discharged from the hospital. (Survival and complication rates are statistically adjusted for how sick patients are.)

Absence of surgical complication: the percentage of patients who leave the hospital with none of the five most serious complications of CABG— re-operation, stroke, kidney failure, infection of the chest wound, or prolonged need to be on a ventilator.

Recommended medications: how often all of the four medications believed to improve a patient’s immediate outcome and long-term risk of developing more blockages were prescribed. This includes beta-blockers, aspirin or similar drugs to prevent clotting, and additional beta-blockers and cholesterol-lowering medicines prescribed after surgery.

Optimal surgical technique: the percentage of CABG procedures that use at least one of the arteries from the underside of the chest wall -- the internal mammary artery— for bypass grafting. This artery has been shown to function much longer than vein grafts, which can become blocked over time.

In addition to the three-star rating, Genesis Cardiac Surgeons was one of eight medical practices across the nation to receive a 2011 Summit Award. This award by Press-Ganey demonstrates patient satisfaction scores ranking in the 95th percentile or above for a minimum three years in a row.

Genesis Medical Center, Davenport also was named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Thomson Reuters for 2011.

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