By Mark Ambrogi
To St.Vincent Heart Center of Indiana’s Dr. Edward Fry, all the factors that Truven Health Analytics uses to name its 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals are important.
One, in particular, is huge.
“Of the things they measure one of them is survival and mortality from heart attacks, heart failure and bypass surgery, so that obviously is the most important thing,” said Fry, chairman of the cardiology division of St.Vincent Medical Group and chairman of Cardiovascular Service Line for St.Vincent Health and Ascension Health. “The outcomes are demonstratively better than a hospital that is not in the 50. All aspects they cite are important. But if you are a patient, to know that your chances of surviving a heart attack or surviving an episode of heart failure or having a good outcome from bypass surgery or some other procedures, those would be the kinds of things you’d look for.”
For the sixth time, St.Vincent’s Heart Center has been recognized as one of the nation’s Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals. It was the only hospital in Indiana to receive the honor.
The Truven study is an annual quantitative study that identifies the nation’s best cardiovascular care providers, based on publicly available data and a balanced look at clinical, operational and financial performance metrics.
According to Truven, hospitals in the 50 have significantly higher inpatient survival than other cardiovascular hospitals (25 to 55 percent higher).
The Truven reports the 2017 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals also had fewer patients with complications (20 to 22 percent fewer); higher 30-day survival rates for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure (HF), and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients (0.5 to 1.1 percentage points higher); lower readmission rates for AMI, HF and CABG patients (0.5 to 1.2 percentage points lower; average lengths of stay for CABG patients that were one day lower (0.3 to 0.5 days lower than the other patient groups); and $1,200 to $6,100 less in total costs per patient case.
“Around here we have a little tongue-in-cheek that we feel like we like we’re the best-kept secret in Indiana, although we have tremendous recognition around the country,” Fry said. “Many of the clinician leaders in our group are nationally recognized experts in their fields as well as leaders in cardiovascular organizations. So we take pride in that.”
Fry, an Indianapolis resident, has been with St.Vincent since 1991.
“I practice in the Indianapolis hospitals and do outreach in other parts of the state,” Fry said. “That’s a distinguishing aspect that all of our physicians. Although they have a home base, they support care throughout the state. That’s one way we’ve been able to grow our cardiovascular program, which in turns supports the inpatient programs.”