PCI Program at Mercy Hospital Named “Program of Excellence” by Independent Health

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December 22, 2009

The Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) program at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, home of the Catholic Health Heart Center, has been named a “Program of Excellence” by Independent Health. Also known as angioplasty, PCI is a minimally invasive procedure used to open narrowed blood vessels to improve blood flow and heart function.

This distinction is part of a growing list of recognitions for Catholic Health’s Heart Center and the Cardiac Services Department at Mercy Hospital. “Catholic Health is leading the way in offering some of the most advanced cardiac surgery and cardiac interventional procedures in the area, including robotic assisted cardiac surgery,” said John Bell-Thomson, M.D., chair of Mercy’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Department. “This latest recognition from Independent Health is an important acknowledgment of the quality of care we provide to patients throughout the region.”

The program earned its designation based on Independent Health’s review of clinical and quality data, which references New York state and national benchmarks, as well as American College of Cardiology standards of care. The Heart Center exceeded many quality indicators, including the most current New York State PCI mortality data.

According to the state report, based on 2006 data (the most current available), Mercy Hospital has the lowest risk-adjusted mortality rate in WNY for PCI with individual physician rates below the NYS average. “This data, when combined with the Independent Health designation, helps area residents make more informed decisions about their cardiac care,” said Salvatore Calandra, M.D., director of Interventional Cardiology at Mercy Hospital. “Our entire team is to be congratulated for their skill and dedication in achieving these outstanding clinical outcomes.”

As part of its continuing effort to provide affordable, quality health care, Independent Health developed the “Programs of Excellence” initiative to recognize local health providers and the high-quality services they offer. “We’re pleased to include Mercy Hospital’s PCI in our Program of Excellence,” said Thomas F. Foels, M.D., M.M.M., chief medical officer, Independent Health. “The Program of Excellence designation is an easy way for our members to know that they can choose facilities that provide the best outcomes using national benchmarks.”

Catholic Health offers cardiac testing services at its hospitals including Kenmore Mercy, Mercy, Sisters of Charity and its St. Joseph Campus. Advanced cardiac procedures including robotic assisted surgery; open-heart surgery, including coronary artery bypass and valve replacement; electrophysiology, angioplasty; and PFO closures are available at the Catholic Health Heart Center at Mercy Hospital.

The Heart Center recently received it second consecutive three-star rating – the highest available – from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, placing its heart surgery program among the top 12% in the nation.