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WMC cardiac program lauded

By Kim Walter

Winchester Medical Center has received a 3-star rating for its coronary artery bypass grafting program -- the highest score possible according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

In recent years, the Society has developed a rating system to measure the quality of cardiac surgery in hospitals nationwide. The most recent analysis of national data covered a period from July 1, 2011 to June 30 2012, and the results ranked Winchester's cardiac surgery program in the highest tier.

Only 12 to 15 percent of hospitals with cardiac surgery programs receive the 3-star rating.

The ranking comes from a composite score built from 11 measurements grouped into four categories. The categories take into consideration the program's success with avoidance of mortality, avoidance of morbidity, use of the internal mammary artery from the chest wall during surgery -- which is shown to lead to better results -- and use of four prescribed medications following surgery, also leading to better results.

Dr. Christopher Rumpf, Valley Health's Chief Quality and Medical Officer, said the rating is widely regarded by clinicians as "the gold standard" by which to evaluate cardiac surgery programs.

"This recognition is a testament to the quality and dedication of our cardiothoracic surgeons and the entire multidisciplinary team who care for our cardiac surgery patients," he said. "Receiving this recognition highlights our team's commitment to providing the best cardiovascular care for our community."

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database was established in 1989 as way to improve quality and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons and programs. The database uses more than 4.5 million surgical records to develop assessment activities, nationally recognized quality measures and other quality improvement initiatives.

Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or kwalter@nvdaily.com


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