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Heart Hospital achieves nation’s highest overall quality rating in cardiac surgery

Cardiothoracic surgeon Alan Hartman, MD, leads a team in an open-heart surgery at North Shore University Hospital.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Alan Hartman, MD, leads a team in an open-heart surgery at North Shore University Hospital.

North Shore University Hospital is one of only two cardiac programs in the US and Canada recognized for top performance by Society of Thoracic Surgeons


The Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) has achieved three-star overall quality ratings -- the highest possible ranking -- in all five cardiac surgical categories analyzed by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).  Of approximately 980 cardiothoracic surgical programs that submitted their data to STS, NSUH is one of only two cardiac programs in the US and Canada to receive the society’s highest performance rating – STS is not scheduled to publicly report the full findings of its report until next year, so the identity of the other top-performing cardiac program was not disclosed. 

A non-profit organization representing more than 7,600 surgeons, researchers and other health professionals worldwide, STS strives to ensure the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lungs, esophagus and other procedures within the chest by enhancing the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality of care through education, research and advocacy.

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR) surgery, CABG + AVR surgery, isolated mitral valve replacement/repair (MVRR) surgery, and CABG + MVRR surgery. 

“It is an incredible accomplishment to be recognized among the top two, highest-performing cardiothoracic surgical programs in the country by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons,” said Alan R. Hartman, MD, senior vice president and executive director of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Northwell Health.  “Achieving a three-star, overall rating in all five cardiac surgery categories could only be possible by the amazing work and selfless commitment our staff bring to the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital on a daily basis.”

Three-star rankings for additional cardiothoracic surgery programs

Based on STS’s stringent review, the outcomes of NSUH’s cardiothoracic surgical service were benchmarked against the other 980 cardiac programs. The STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Report analyzed data from participants for isolated CABG for one year (July 2017-June 2018).  The data for the other four cardiac surgical categories were analyzed over a three-year period (July 2015-June 2018), the most recent reporting data period available. The ratings are calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures.

Three other Northwell hospitals with cardiothoracic surgery programs also earned three-star quality overall ratings by STS: For the first time, Staten Island University Hospital earned a top rating for isolated CABG surgery – ranking it among the top 7.2 percent of programs nationally; Southside Hospital in Bay Shore was recognized for CABG and AVR surgery, with a national ranking in the top 4.7 percent; and Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan achieved a three-star rating for isolated MVRR surgery, ranking it among the top 11.3 percent nationally.

“We are extremely proud of our colleagues at Southside, Lenox Hill and Staten Island for achieving the highest quality ratings by the STS in their respective cardiac surgical categories,” said Dr. Hartman. “The superior ratings reflect the leadership, expertise and collaboration of our cardiac surgery teams.”

Dr. Hartman noted that participation in the STS adult cardiac surgery database is voluntary, highlighting the importance of Northwell’s commitment to quality improvement.  “Data on cardiothoracic surgical outcomes provides patients and their families with critical information to help them make the most-informed choices about their health care,” he added.

The STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Star Rating summary for analyzed categories, covering data analysis for the time period ending June 2018, will be available in early 2019 for participants who have chosen to publically report results. Isolated MVRR and CABG + MVRR are newly reported categories.

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