Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Piedmont Hospital Receives Clinical Excellence Award for Cardiac Surgical Care

Piedmont Hospital today announced that it has received the 2009 clinical excellence award for cardiac surgery from HealthGrades®, the healthcare ratings company. The award places Piedmont Hospital’s clinical outcomes in the top 10 percent nationally. In addition, Piedmont was named Best in Atlanta for Overall Cardiac Care and Cardiac Surgery for the second consecutive year.

Piedmont Hospital received five-star ratings in the categories of Coronary Bypass Surgery, Treatment of Heart Attack and Treatment of Heart Failure. Piedmont Hospital’s outcomes place it among the top five hospitals in Georgia for cardiac surgery, cardiology and overall cardiac services.

“Piedmont Hospital is honored to be recognized again by HealthGrades for our commitment to excellence in cardiac care,” said Robert W. Maynard, President and CEO. “As Piedmont increases the services available through its hospitals and the Piedmont Heart Institute, our physicians and staff will continue to provide the highest quality of care for our patients.”

In 2008, Piedmont Hospital celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first open-heart surgery at the hospital and the same anniversary of offering cardiac angioplasty. The Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI) also launched Piedmont Heart Health Advantage, a new program to predict and prevent heart disease that goes beyond standard screening techniques to identify dangerous plaques in the arteries, the kind that can be responsible for sudden death. Piedmont also recently announced the addition of the world’s most advanced imaging technology, the Toshiba Aquilion One Dynamic Volume CT Scanner.

Other programs are available through Piedmont Hospital's Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta – a 162-bed service that offers a full spectrum of integrated cardiovascular care from initial testing to post-surgery recovery, including nationally accredited programs in cardiac rehabilitation, echocardiology, peripheral vascular and congestive heart failure.

The Clinical Excellence Award given to Piedmont Hospital was released in conjunction with the 11th annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, which is the most comprehensive study of its kind, analyzing more than 41 million Medicare hospitalization records from 2005 to 2007 at the nation’s approximately 5,000 non-federal hospitals. According to the study, if all hospitals performed at the level of five-star rated hospitals, 237,420 Medicare deaths could potentially have been prevented over the three years studied. More than half of those preventable deaths were associated with four conditions: sepsis, pneumonia, heart failure and respiratory failure.

While overall death rates declined from 2005 to 2007, the nation’s best-performing hospitals were able to reduce preventable deaths at a much faster rate than poor-performing hospitals, resulting in large state, regional and hospital-to-hospital variations in the quality of patient care, the study found.

Based on the study, HealthGrades today made available its 2009 quality ratings for virtually every hospital in the country at www.healthgrades.com, a Web site designed to help individuals research and compare local healthcare providers.

On its Web site, HealthGrades offers, free to consumers, quality ratings of 27 procedures and treatments for virtually every hospital in the country. The site is designed so that consumers can easily compare patient outcomes at their local hospitals for procedures ranging from aortic aneurysm repair to bypass surgery. Each hospital receives a star rating based on its patient outcomes in terms of mortality or complication rates for each procedure or treatment. Hospitals with outcomes that are above average to a statistically significant degree receive a five-star rating. Hospitals with average outcomes receive a three-star rating, and hospitals with outcomes that are below average receive a one-star rating. Because no two hospitals or their patients’ risk profiles are alike, HealthGrades employs extensive risk-adjustment algorithms to ensure that it is making analogous comparisons.
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