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The East Carolina Heart Institute at Vidant Medical Center earns top rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

June 15, 2016 by Beth Anne Atkins

GREENVILLE – The East Carolina Heart Institute at Vidant Medical Center has received the highest quality rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for Coronary Artery Bypass and Aortic Valve surgeries in 2015.

The STS National Database is the national report card that compares the outcomes of cardiac surgery programs across the country. Historically, only 12-15 percent of hospitals receive the three-star rating, which is the highest quality category. In the current analysis of national data from Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015, the cardiac surgery performance at the Heart Institute rose to the highest quality tier, earning the STS three-star rating for Coronary Artery Bypass and Aortic Valve Surgery.

“The Society of Thoracic Surgeons critically examines the outcomes for most cardiac surgery programs in the country,” said Dr. Andy Kiser, director of cardiovascular surgical services at the East Carolina Heart Institute at Vidant Medical Center. “Very few programs ever achieve their highest recognition and are awarded the prestigious three-star quality rating. But less than 30 programs achieve a three-star rating in more than one category. Our three-star rating in both coronary and aortic valve surgery ranks the East Carolina Heart Institute in the top 3 percent of all participating programs in the United States. We are proud to be recognized for our traditions of providing outstanding heart, lung, and vascular care to the people of eastern North Carolina."

In 2015, the Heart Institute ranked among the top 14 percent of STS participating programs earning the three-star rating for coronary artery bypass procedures (CAB).

The overall CAB quality rating of three stars measures top performance in four categories: risk-adjusted mortality, risk-adjusted morbidity, use of the internal mammary arterial conduit and appropriate use of all medications that have been shown to improve long term survival. The risk adjusted mortality rate takes into account patient severity, because of underlying health conditions such as stroke, kidney failure, infection, and prolonged time on a ventilator.

Additionally, the Heart Institute achieved a three-star rating for aortic valve replacement with coronary artery bypass grafting, ranking them among only 2.7 percent of STS participating programs.

The East Carolina Heart Institute is devoted exclusively to education, research, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The institute is associated with Vidant Medical Center and East Carolina University. The primary facilities that make up the Heart Institute are located on the campuses of Vidant Medical Center and ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. Private practice physicians in Greenville and throughout the region are an integral part of the Heart Institute.

It is the mission of the East Carolina Heart Institute to improve North Carolina’s health status through cardiovascular health service delivery, research, and education. The STS three-star rating fully supports that mission.

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