Cardiac Care at Sentara Heart Hospital Ranks Among Top 50 in U.S. News & World Report
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Cardiac Care at Sentara Heart Hospital Ranks Among Top 50 in U.S. News & World Report 

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Norfolk, VA – July 13, 2007 – Heart and Heart Surgery services at Sentara Heart Hospital® rank among the top 50 cardiac programs in the nation in the 2007 America’s Best Hospitals Edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine.

The cardiac program at Sentara Heart Hospital® ranks 33rd out of the top 50 hospitals listed. Drilling down further into the measurement criteria, Sentara Heart Hospital® boasts a Mortality Ratio that is superior to eight of the top ten programs in the nation.

The standards for ranking in “Best Hospitals” are rigorous, according to U.S. News. Of the 5,462 medical centers in the United States only 173 were ranked in even one of the 16 medical specialties measured by the magazine. Sentara Heart Hospital’s ranking places it among the top three percent of healthcare providers in the nation.

Marking its eighth year among the nation’s top heart programs, Sentara’s heart care consistently surpasses published national averages for cardiology and heart surgery.

“We are proud that the weight of our performance in the U.S. News rankings comes from outstanding patient outcomes, in spite of the fact that our program that is not associated with a large academic university or national reputation,” says Carl Hartman, M.D. of Cardiovascular Associates, Ltd. “This bears out in the “Best Hospital” rankings and in the independent reporting from other sources that place our mortality ratios among the best for cardiac care in the country.”

A Model for Safe, Quality Care
In an accompanying article, U.S. News writer Sarah Baldauf takes readers through a hospital stay – from pre surgical prep through surgery to discharge. Written as a practical guide for patients preparing for surgery, “Navigating the Hospital” features Sentara Heart Hospital’s program as a model for educating patients, practicing safe care and promoting family involvement in the patient’s care. Included in the article are several pictures and quotes from physicians, staff and patients at Sentara Heart Hospital®. This national exposure for Sentara’s practice of patient care further emphasizes the quality agenda that the organization endorses.

“We continually focus on achieving excellence in cardiac care with an emphasis on quality and teamwork,” says Glenn Barnhart, M.D. of Mid-Atlantic Cardiothoracic Surgeons, and a cardiac surgeon at Sentara Heart Hospital®. “We are pleased to see that our key outcomes around mortality are at or above the most prominent cardiac programs in the country and we are proud to offer that level of service to the greater Hampton Roads community.”

A Culture of Patient Safety
Sentara has long been on the forefront of the patient safety movement. Understanding that healthcare providers can do better for patients, Sentara looked outside of the healthcare industry to develop and implement a comprehensive patient safety campaign. This program, which started as a pilot at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and was later awarded the national John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the National Quality Forum in 2005, was rolled out to all of its healthcare facilities and spawned the development of a national patient safety consultancy.

“Sentara Heart receives this recognition because of the people who strive to make a difference — the physicians, the nurses, the staff; everyone believes in doing their best to better the lives of our patients and their families,” says Howard Kern, President and Chief Operating Officer for Sentara Healthcare. “This dedicated team of professionals exemplifies our mission to improve health every day.”

Sentara Heart Hospital®, opened in 2006, is the region’s only dedicated heart hospital. Located on the Campus of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sentara Heart Hospital® features 112 private inpatient rooms and 45 pre/post-op procedure rooms. Sentara Heart Hospital® has five dedicated cardiac operating rooms, six cardiac catheterization labs and the region’s first 64-slice CTA scanner for cardiac imaging.

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