Consumer Reports

April 25, 2017


There is no better place in South Florida to undergo two common heart surgeries than Memorial Regional Hospital, according to a special report in the May issue of Consumer Reports focused on heart health.

The magazine gave Memorial Regional Hospital its highest quality ranking for results achieved during and after coronary bypass and aortic valve replacement procedures.

Consumer Reports rated Memorial’s Cardiac and Vascular Institute “better than average,” the magazine’s highest possible ranking, based on data supplied by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

It was the only one in South Florida to earn that distinction and one of only 17 nationwide to earn the top mark for each of the surgeries.

“STS has nearly 500 hospitals providing data on heart surgery performance for its registry,” said Dr. Doris Peter, director of the Health Rating Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumer Reports. “Memorial Regional Hospital is among a very small percentage of those that have received the highest rating.”

Although not every hospital agrees to make its results public, Peter says the number of those being transparent about their performance is increasing. When her office began publishing STS data in their rankings, only 30% of facilities were willing to publicly report, a number that has doubled since 2010.

STS compiled data on isolated coronary heart bypass graft surgery from July 2015 to June 2016 and measured survival rates, post-op complications, surgical technique and drug usage. Aortic valve replacement information measured results between July 2013 and June 2016 and quantified survival and complication rates.

Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute’s TotalHEART surgeons performed more than 250 coronary artery bypass procedures during the period measured by STS data. It also performed 35 aortic valve replacements in 2015 and 22 operations where both procedures were performed at the same time. The bypass surgery involves grafting a blood vessel from the chest, legs or arms to avoid a narrowed or blocked artery surrounding the heart. The valve replacement uses a mechanical or biological replacement for a damaged or diseased aortic valve.

“Consumer Reports' recognition of the successful outcomes we’ve had for cardiac patients is an objective validation of what we’ve known for several years,” said Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE, President and CEO of Memorial Healthcare System. “We’ve embraced transparency as part of our patient- and family-centered care model and want consumers to have accurate information when making healthcare decisions.”

Memorial has been ranked in the top 1% of adult cardiac surgery programs in the U.S. and has a three-star rating from STS, its highest ranking. It also performed Broward County’s first adult heart transplant and was the first to establish an adult transplant program.

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