Maureen Curran Kleinman
Marketing and Communications
Ridgewood, NJ – September 13, 2011 – Cardiothoracic surgeons at The Valley Hospital earned a top rating in a report published in the September issue of Consumer Reports.
In a cover story comparing heart surgeons across the nation, The Valley Columbia Heart Center, part of the Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, was one of only two groups in New Jersey – and the only one in Bergen County -- to receive a three-star rating for quality and clinical excellence in heart surgery.
The Consumer Reports rating is based on data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) national database. The STS National Adult Cardiac Surgery Database includes more than 4 million surgical records and covers roughly 90 percent of the more than 1,000 surgical groups in the U.S. that perform cardiac surgery, making it the largest such registry in the world.
A total of 324 group practices, including Valley’s, agreed to allow Consumer Reports to publish their results. Of those, Valley and 80 other groups were above the national average with the top ranking of three stars, 38 were average (two stars), and five were below average (one star).
Hospital groups are scored on performance in the following four categories – patient survival, absence of surgical complications, recommended medications and optimal surgical technique. The ratings reflect results from isolated heart-bypass operations called coronary artery bypass grafting to newer techniques, which include minimally invasive bypass and other complex cardiac procedures.
“The fact that Valley consistently earns the three-star designation is just further evidence that patients who undergo cardiac surgery at Valley receive outstanding clinical care along with the wonderful caring environment that we are known for,” says Alex Zapolanski, M.D., Director of The Valley Columbia Heart Center. “The three-star rating conferred by the STS, a society of heart surgery specialists, is widely regarded by clinicians as the gold standard by which to evaluate cardiac surgery programs.”
Valley’s cardiac services have also received recognition from HealthGrades, an independent healthcare ratings organization. Valley has received Excellence awards in Cardiac Care (3 years in a row), Cardiac Surgery (2 years in a row) and Coronary Intervention (3 years in a row). A study released last year by HealthGrades found that Valley is among the top 5 percent in the nation for cardiac services (2 years in a row 2010-2011) and coronary interventional procedures (3 years in a row 2009-2011). Valley is also ranked in the top 5 hospitals in New Jersey for overall cardiac services (7 years in a row), cardiac surgery (2 years in a row), cardiology services (7 years in a row), and coronary interventional procedures (5 years in a row).