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MeritCare Named 100 Top Heart Hospital

MeritCare Heart Center again named one of nation's top 100 heart hospitals.An independent health-care expert, Solucient, has determined that patients receiving care at MeritCare Heart Center have higher survival rates, fewer complications and return faster to everyday life. For the over 6,000 heart patients from Fargo, Moorhead and surrounding area that are cared for at MeritCare, this is important news.

MeritCare Heart Center again named one of nation's top 100 heart hospitals.

An independent health-care expert, Solucient, has determined that patients receiving care at MeritCare Heart Center have higher survival rates, fewer complications and return faster to everyday life. For the over 6,000 heart patients from Fargo, Moorhead and surrounding area that are cared for at MeritCare, this is important news.

This is the seventh time in eight years that MeritCare has been named one of the nation's 100 Top Heart Hospitals. The study, called 2006 Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success, appears in the most recent edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.
It compared success rates at high performing heart centers nationwide. The difference is impressive. Patients who were cared for at a top 100 hospital had higher survival rates, fewer complications and returned faster to everyday life.

MeritCare Board of Trustees chair Tom Dawson, president of Dawson Insurance, says, "This prestigious honor should truly make our entire community and region proud. To know we have this level of expertise and quality care right here in Fargo, the value the heart center brings to the people of our region, is just phenomenal."

MeritCare's Heart Center has the largest team of heart specialists in the region; over 6,000 patients are treated at the heart center each year:
  • 14 board-certified cardiologists, with specialists in interventional cardiology and electrophysiology
  • Three board-certified cardiovascular surgeons
  • One board-certified pediatric cardiologist
  • Eight physician assistants and nurse practitioners

Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president, performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs, Solucient Center for Healthcare Improvement, says, "The 100 Top Hospitals Cardiovascular winners bring great value to their communities. These hospitals have set national benchmarks for clinical process, outcomes and efficiency, as well as reasonable cost. These hospitals also meet volume standards for both percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) and coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs)."

The Solucient study objectively measures performance against key criteria at the nation's top performing acute-care hospitals. Among the study's other findings:
  • If peer hospitals (non-winners) provided the same quality of care as the 100 Top Hospitals facilities, survival rates could increase by more than 8,000 patients each year.
  • Complications of care could also decrease in peer hospitals. Approximately 575 additional patients could be complication-free.
  • Both medical and surgical cardiovascular patients experience markedly higher survival rates at winning hospitals. For example, winning hospitals had 21 percent fewer deaths than expected for CABG patients while peer hospitals had only 1 percent fewer deaths than expected.
  • Winning hospitals performed up to 80 percent more PCIs than their peers, and about 50 percent more CABGs. Previous research has shown that procedure volume is a critical factor in outcomes for cardiovascular patients.
  • Benchmark hospitals are proving more efficient in treating cardiovascular patients. The average 100 Top Hospitals Cardiovascular winner discharges patients half a day earlier and at an average cost that is about 13 percent less than its peers.

For more information:
  • Go to news.meritcare.com
  • Go to 100tophospitals.com. An executive summary of the study is available to media by registering at 100tophospitals.com/news/media.aspx.

Solucient:
  • Solucient is a national information company serving the health-care industry. It is the market leader in providing tools and vital insights that health-care managers use to improve the performance of their organizations.
  • To schedule an interview with Jean Chenoweth, Solucient, contact Ginny Sexton at 847.424.4358 or gsexton@solucient.com.


*Note to media: There are many honors/rankings available in the health-care industry, some of which are marketing packages that may be purchased for a fee. For that reason, we felt it was important to point out that the Solucient study is independent; those listed don't pay for this honor or the rights to use it.