DH Logo IconDartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) has once again been named to an elite group of U.S. hospitals that are producing the best clinical outcomes for cardiovascular care, and which treat heart patients in less time and at a lower cost, according to a study just released by the Healthcare arm of Thomson Reuters, an international business intelligence and media company. DHMC was one of only five hospitals in New England named to the list.

The study – 2008 Thomson-Reuters 100 Top Hospitals┬«: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success – examined the performance of nearly 1,000 U.S. hospitals by analyzing clinical outcomes for patients diagnosed with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and angioplasties. While the average mortality rate nationally for cardiovascular patients is very low (3.4 percent), the mortality rate for bypass surgery was 26 percent lower in the 100 Top Hospitals cardiovascular winners. The award-winning hospitals also demonstrated higher performance on the evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and cost $1,542 less per case, on average. DHMC was one of 30 hospitals listed in the category, “Teaching Hospitals with Cardiovascular Residency Programs.”

“We are obviously very pleased to receive this kind of national recognition for the quality of care we provide for our cardiac patients,” said John Butterly, M.D., DHMC Executive Medical Director and Vice-Chair of the Department of Medicine. “While heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the world, we are constantly making progress in preventing it, as well as improving clinical outcomes following surgical procedures through a process of continuous performance improvement.”

“The benchmark hospitals demonstrate that the quality of cardiovascular care is still rising across the country,” said Janet Young, M.D., senior scientist at the Thomson Reuters Center for Healthcare Improvement. “These hospitals pushed the bar to new levels, particularly in improved survival rates and reduced cost.”

The 100 Top Hospitals study focused on short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals that treat a broad spectrum of cardiology patients. Thomson Reuters researchers analyzed 2006 and 2007 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, 2007 Medicare cost reports, and data from other sources. They scored hospitals in key performance areas: risk-adjusted medical mortality, risk-adjusted surgical mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures score, percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, procedure volume, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost.

The Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters produces insights, information, benchmarks and analysis that enable organizations to manage costs, improve performance and enhance the quality of health care.