Consumer Reports Releases 400 Hospital Rankings for Heart Surgery

By Adam Pick on November 19, 2014

Finding a great surgeon and experienced cardiac center is beyond critical for patients needing heart valve surgery. However, the process of acquiring trusted and reliable information about medical providers can sometimes be an uphill battle.

So… In case you missed the recent announcement, Consumer Reports just published their first-ever rankings for heart surgery programs in the United States. In total, over 400 hospitals are included in Consumer Reports’ list. To read the whole story, click here.

 

Consumer Reports Hospital Rankings

 

To establish the top rankings, Consumer Reports used two procedure types — surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) — in the analysis. According to the announcement, “The ratings are based on the gold standard in tracking hospital performance: data from patients’ medical records showing whether patients survived the procedure and how they fared on other important measures, including complications.”

The data came from  the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), which represents physicians who operate on the heart. More than 1,000 U.S. hospitals report to the STS. However, only about 400 hospitals allowed their data to be shared with Consumer Reports.

In order to access the hospital rankings, you need to pay a fee ($6 for a one-month online subscription) which I did. When you research a hospital, like Seqouia Hospital in Redwood City, CA, which is among the top 15 hospitals on the Consumer Reports list, you will see a scorecard which shows several interesting datapoints about the hospital.

 

Sequoia Hospital Consumer Reports Scorecard

 

Overall, the Consumer Reports rankings provide one more piece of information that patients, their families and friends may want to consider as they do their homework. Still, like most rankings (e.g. U.S. News & World Reports), there may be some pros and cons to the methodology, the criteria, how the data is measured, which procedures are evaluated and which hospitals are included — or not included.

In addition to reviewing these types of reports, I always encourage patients to meet with their surgeon, ask lots of questions (bring a smartphone with a recording app), and tour the cardiac center before surgery.

Trust me… When you are being rolled into the operating room, you want to be 100% confident in your surgeon, their medical staff and the hospital.

Keep on tickin!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.


Jack D. Thrall says on January 5th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Why is nothing said about the Mayo Clinics – Phoenix, AZ.



Aida Bond says on January 5th, 2015 at 7:38 pm

Hi John,

You bring up an excellent point that I have been researching. I cannot speak for the Mayo Clinic but from my research and understanding of cardiac reporting it is quite a complex process from data collection, hospital procedures, and the hospital’s ultimate choice to make their cardiac information available to places such as the STS. My recommendation would be to contact the Mayo Clinic directly and ask for their hospital cardiac outcome reports. If interested I posted my findings here: http://www.heartcarematters.com/blog/choosing-your-heart-surgeon-and-hospital/

My best to you!


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