Local hospital ranked in top 50 for cardiovascular services

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - TriHealth's Bethesda North Hospital has been named one of the top 50 hospitals by Thomson Reuters in its annual study identifying the top U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services. This is the fifth time that Bethesda North has been named a top cardiovascular hospital, having previously won the award in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2009.

The study examined the performance of more than 1,000 hospitals by analyzing outcomes for patients with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions.

"This year's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals have continued to deliver excellent care and have been able to improve their performance in a tough economic climate," said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals program at Thomson Reuters. "The hospitals in this study have provided measurably better care and are more efficient than their peers, demonstrating incredibly strong focus by hospital leadership at a time when the healthcare system is steeped in volatility."

"This top honor validates everyone's diligent work to raise the bar on quality, safety and service for our cardiac patients," said John Prout, TriHealth president and CEO. "Congratulations to our staff and physicians on this achievement."

The study shows that 97 percent of cardiovascular inpatients in U.S. hospitals survive and approximately 96 percent remain complication-free, reflecting improved cardiovascular care across-the-board over the past year. The 50 top hospitals' performance surpasses these high-water marks as indicated by:

• Better risk-adjusted survival rates (23 percent fewer deaths than non-winning hospitals for bypass surgery patients)

• Lower complications indices (40 percent lower rate of heart failure complications)

• Fewer patients readmitted to the hospital after 30 days

• Shorter hospital visits and lower costs. Top hospitals discharge bypass patients nearly a full day sooner and spend $4,200 less per bypass case than non-winners.

• Increased use of internal mammary artery (IMA) for coronary artery bypass surgeries. Top hospitals have increased their use of this recommended procedure from 88 to 96 percent

The study evaluated general and applicable specialty, short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals treating a broad spectrum of cardiology patients.

"We have long believed our program was one of the most innovative and comprehensive in the area," said Dr. Stephen Lewis, Chairman of the Cardiology Department at Bethesda North. "Winning this award would not have been possible without the multidiscipline team of cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and the entire patient care team."

Bethesda North Hospital is part of the TriHealth Heart Institute formed in May of 2011 and offers a network of top employed and independent medical specialists working together to providing advanced, specialized treatment of cardiovascular disease in a warm, comfortable and caring environment at Bethesda North Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and other locations throughout Cincinnati. The TriHealth heart team continues to grow stronger with the recent employment of heart specialists from the Cardiology Center of Cincinnati in July of 2011 and Cardiology Associates of Cincinnati in October of 2011.

Thomson Reuters researchers analyzed 2009 and 2010 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, Medicare cost reports, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data. They scored hospitals in key performance areas: risk-adjusted mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures (a group of measures that assess process of care), percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost.

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