Heart Surgery Program at Mercy Hospital Maintains Top National Rating

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December 23, 2009

For the second consecutive reporting period, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has awarded the Catholic Health Heart Center at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo with a “three-star” national rating for its heart surgery program. Only 12% of the 900 participating hospitals across the country achieved a “three-star” rating—the highest category of quality achieved under the STS quality rating system—for the period covering July 2008 to June 2009.

For the previous January 2008 to December 2008 reporting period, the heart surgery program at Mercy Hospital was recognized among the top 15% of STS participating hospitals that were granted a “three-star” rating.

“This prestigious national rating is attributed to a team effort by several Mercy Hospital associates and physicians who work together to deliver the best care and quality outcomes possible for our patients,” said Julie LaManna, Catholic Health Senior Director of Cardiac Services.

The Catholic Health Heart Center team at Mercy Hospital recently celebrated another “three-star” national quality rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

STS operates a comprehensive rating system using the largest single-specialty database in the United States with 900 participating hospitals and over 3.5 million patient records. “We joined the STS voluntary rating system in 2008 as a way to further demonstrate our commitment to deliver the highest quality cardiac surgery services,” said LaManna.

The STS composite quality rating is based on a combination of 11 National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) processes and outcomes measures. These measures rate the performance of heart surgery programs in four areas: Avoidance of Operative Mortality; Avoidance of Major Morbidity; High Quality Intra-Operative Care; and Appropriate Perioperative Medication Usage.

“It is important to share quality data to tell the public how we are doing and to compare ourselves to other similar heart surgery programs on a national scale,” said Dr. John Bell-Thomson, Chair of Mercy’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Department. “Our three-star rating tells us that our heart surgery program is one of the best quality programs in the country.”

C.J. Urlaub, President and CEO of Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, credits the entire staff for this achievement. “We are very proud of our team of surgeons, nurses and other health care professionals whose commitment to excellence in patient care have allowed us to earn this top quality rating,” he said. “This national rating is also good news for our Western New York community. Having one of the most highly-rated heart surgery programs in the United States at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo gives Western New York patients peace of mind that the care they receive at Catholic Health is among the best available anywhere.”