Dixie Regional Medical Center among nation’s top 50 heart hospitals

Photo courtesy of Brady White, DRMC

ST. GEORGE – Dixie Regional Medical Center has been named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Thomson Reuters.

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 such as angioplasties.

Not the first time

This is the fourth time Dixie Regional has been recognized with this honor. This year’s winners were announced in Modern Healthcare magazine in November.

“We are honored to be included as one of the top 50 heart hospitals in the nation,” said Terri Kane, CEO/Administrator for DRMC.  “This prestigious recognition has been awarded to our hospital because of the unwavering commitment to teamwork and best practice medicine. Congratulations go to our cardiovascular care team which crosses more than 30 departments of the hospital and to our top notch physicians including our heart surgeons, cardiologists, emergency physicians, intensivists, internists, family practice doctors, and anesthesiologists. Our goal is to be the best hospital in the country.”

“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.

Cindy Richardson, DMRC’s operations officer over cardiovascular care, added that the hospital once again received a “very prestigious award.”

“We have a fantastic cardiovascular team here,” she said. “Our program here is one of the best in the county. Our outcomes show it.”

DMRC was one of 15 community hospitals numbered in the Thomson Reuters study, Richardson added. These hospitals were compared to, and surpassed, 523 other community hospitals across the United States.

The numbers

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.

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.

mkessler@stgnews.com

Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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