WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A U.S. News & World Report investigative analysis of hospitals across the country revealed that 26 percent of deaths – 1 out of every 4 – that occur following severe heart defect surgery could be prevented if the operations were performed at high-volume hospitals.
U.S. News analyzed data from 4,000 complex congenital heart surgeries – many of them done on children – across 61 hospitals from 2012 to 2015 and found:
- Out of 395 deaths, 104 could have been prevented if the patients underwent surgeries in high-volume centers, which treat more than 250 patients with complex congenital heart conditions a year.
- Nine of the hospitals studied performed two or fewer of these complex, high-risk procedures a year.
- More patients died at medium-volume centers than at low-volume centers. During the period analyzed, 82 preventable deaths occurred at medium-volume centers, while 22 occurred at low-volume hospitals.
The U.S. News package includes:
- Advice about what questions parents should ask if their child has a congenital heart issue, including hospitals' outcomes data on complex surgeries, doctors' qualifications, the medical staff's availability and more.
- The story of 6-year-old Chance Bond, who underwent three open-heart procedures by the time he was 2 years old.
- Amy Basken's first-person account of learning about her child's congenital heart disease and what parents should expect from medical staff. Basken is the co-founder and director of Programs for the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association.
"Not much has changed since studies first linked higher volumes to better outcomes in the 1970s. Safety continues to lie in numbers, and our analysis reveals a constant pattern of more preventable deaths occurring at low-volume and mid-size hospitals versus high-volume centers," said Steve Sternberg, senior writer at U.S. News. "The reporting highlights the importance of hospital data transparency to help parents make critical decisions about their child's health."
The U.S. News analysis – the first of its kind – was completed alongside the John Hopkins Medicine's Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality with the goal of calculating the number of lives that could be saved each year if all congenital heart surgery patients had their surgeries at high-volume hospitals. The methodology drew on data from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
The data-driven series comes just before the June 27 launch of the 2017-2018 Best Children's Hospitals rankings, which highlight the top 50 Children's Hospitals in 10 pediatric specialties, including pediatric cardiology and heart surgery.
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Personal Finance, Travel, Cars and News & Opinion, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings, news and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 30 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
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SOURCE U.S. News & World Report