Norfolk, VA. - July 17, 2003 - Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's heart and urology programs have earned a place in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of America's Best Hospitals. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's heart program ranks 21st out of the top 50 hospitals in the United States named for cardiac care excellence.
In the most recent study, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's program is the only heart program in Virginia to be recognized, marking the fourth year the program has been acknowledged.
Also recognized this year is Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's urology program, listed 41st from among the nation's top 50 urology programs in the country.
Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks 17 specialties by combining the scores (U.S. News Index) of three equally weighted quality indicators: reputation, mortality rate, and a group of care-related factors.
Sentara's Chief Medical Officer Rodney F. Hochman, M.D. said, "We are honored to be recognized in U.S. News & Word Report's elite ranking for both heart care and urology. It's very satisfying to know that our doctors and staff are offering patients access to some of the finest cardiac and urology care found in the nation here at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital."
Heart and Heart Surgery Ranking
For two years running, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's heart program is the only one in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina to earn a place in the U.S. News survey. Named for four years, this program has consistently climbed in the rankings. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital attained some of the best outcomes evidenced by far better than expected mortality rates. Sentara also achieved favorable scores for treating a high volume of cases, technology support, and nurse-to-bed ratios.
Carl W. Hartman, M.D., a cardiologist with Cardiovascular Associates, Ltd. remarks, "Cardiac physicians at Sentara have been committed to treating heart disease across the Hampton Roads region for years. Through a unique and collaborative environment, we continue to achieve superb clinical outcomes that distinguish this program among the preeminent heart programs in the country."
Hartman notes, "We are fortunate to have an outstanding clinical and professional staff enabling us to provide high quality care to our patients."
Industry studies have shown that across all specialties-including cardiac-improved outcomes have direct correlation to the number of procedures performed. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's cardiac program recorded 8,466 discharges for cardiac procedures and surgeries during the survey period.
Lenox Baker, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon with Mid-Atlantic Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Ltd. in Norfolk comments, "We feel strongly that by having treated high numbers of complex cases, we have enhanced the program's proficiencies."
Baker continues, "Pivotal to Sentara's consistently high ranking is the impeccable scores in patient care areas that influence clinical outcomes-such as mortality rates."
Sentara's urology specialty ranked 41st in the country from among the top 50 urology programs nationally. Debuting in the 2003 survey, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's urology program is one of only two such programs in Virginia and the only urology program in northeastern North Carolina to be honored.
"Our urology department continues to grow in stature, outcomes, and reputation within the medical community. Being honored by U.S. News & World Report is testament to the doctors' and staff's hard work in helping increasing numbers of patients every year," notes Hochman.
Better than expected mortality rates, favorable nurse-to-bed ratios, and strong technology scores contributed to the ranking.
"We are delighted to be named in such a prestigious ranking which recognizes the world-class urology care we have provided our patients for more than 30 years," said Gerald H. Jordan, M.D., urologist with Devine-Tidewater Urology, Ltd. and chair of the department of urology at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
About the Survey
This year marks the 14th annual edition of "America's Best Hospitals" survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report. From 6,003 hospitals evaluated, 203 this year received recognition in 17 specialties. Scores (U.S. News Index) are derived from three equally weighted measures of quality: reputation, mortality and a group of care-related factors such as nursing and technology. The 50 top-ranking hospitals in each specialty are listed. The methodology for "America's Best Hospitals" was created in 1993 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which reviews and updates the methodology as necessary.
Sentara Heart at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
Since the cardiac program's inception at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in 1967, clinicians and doctors have performed nearly 32,900 open-heart surgeries, 96,600 interventional procedures, and more than 200 heart transplants. To complement the comprehensive heart care services offered patients, Sentara continues to commit to ongoing research in an effort to further treatment and diagnostic options available to heart patients in the future. In 2002 more than 40 cardiac research projects were in progress by Sentara's cardiac physicians.
In addition to its ranking in the U.S. News & World Report survey for four of the last five years, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's heart program has also gained national recognition as one of the Solucient's Top 100 Cardiovascular Program in U.S., which is published in Modern Healthcare magazine. Most recently, Sentara's heart program has been recognized among the top five percent of the cardiac programs in the U.S and the number one heart program in Virginia in overall cardiac services by HealthGrades®, a leading health care information company.
Urology at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's urology program is among the nation's busiest for pelvic and reconstructive surgery. Only a select few medical centers perform complex genital and reconstructive surgery including treatment of Peyronie's disease, pelvic organ prolapse, traumatic urethral injuriesand urinary incontinence.
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's urology program has become known as one of the leading programs to treat these complex urological disorders. National and international research and advanced techniques including minimally invasive surgery and robotics also mark the program.