November 17, 2006

CONTACT: Susanne Hartman
(215) 349-5964
susanne.hartman@uphs.upenn.edu


Penn Presbyterian Medical Center Named One of the Nation’s
Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Solucient in 2006
Only Hospital in Philadelphia to Receive this Distinction

(Philadelphia, PA) — Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, is the only hospital in Philadelphia to be selected as one of the nation’s “100 Top Hospitals” for cardiovascular care by Solucient, a Thomson healthcare business. Every year, the Solucient award for cardiovascular services objectively measures performance on key criteria at the nation’s top-performing acute-care hospitals. This is the fifth year in a row that Penn Presbyterian has been recognized with this honor.

“We were selected in the category of ‘teaching hospital with a cardiovascular residency program.’ This distinction recognizes excellence in the delivery of cardiovascular services,” comments Michele Volpe, Penn Presbyterian Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “Its importance is what it symbolizes — the care we’re providing to our cardiac patients is one that when compared against other similar programs in the country, rates at the top in terms of its outcomes.”

Volpe goes on to say, “The fact that we’ve now earned this honor for five consecutive years speaks to the consistency of the performance of our cardiovascular program, which values every member of the team working collaboratively in the best interest of the patient.”

Penn Presbyterian physicians and staff have expertise in complex arrhythmia management, interventional cardiology, noninvasive cardiology and cardiac imaging, preventive cardiology, vascular medicine and endovascular therapy, and women’s heart health. In addition to routine heart operations, surgeons also perform coronary artery bypass in high-risk patients, complex aortic surgery, heart valve repair and minimally invasive robotic-assisted cardiac surgery.

Harvey Waxman, MD, chief of Cardiology at Penn Presbyterian, states, “It’s important to note that we are a regional program treating many acutely-ill patients, many who have come to our hospital after being referred by physicians in Southern and Central New Jersey and suburban Philadelphia. Our program is so highly recognized that these patients are ‘stepping over’ many other reputable programs in the area to come to ours for significant cardiac care.”

The "Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success" annual study identifies the nation's top providers of cardiovascular service, using the two most recent years of data. The study uses a balance scorecard approach for facilities. Solucient scored facilities in eight key performance areas: risk-adjusted medical mortality, risk-adjusted surgical mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures score, percentage of CABG patients with internal mammary artery use, procedure volume, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost. The measures were calculated for three classes of hospitals: teaching with cardiovascular residency programs, teaching without cardiovascular residency programs, and community.

These measures help to produce benchmarks to improve cardiology standards of care for hospitals across the country. The study found that top-performing facilities consistently outperform their peers, have higher survival rates, lower complications indices and shorter lengths of stay compared with the peer group hospitals.

Among the key findings:

  • If peer hospitals (non-winners) provided the same quality of cardiovascular care as the 100 Top Hospitals facilities, survival rates could increase by more than 8,000 patients each year.
  • Complications of care could also decrease in peer hospitals. Approximately 575 additional patients could be complication-free.
  • Both medical and surgical cardiovascular patients experience markedly higher survival rates at winning hospitals.
  • Winning hospitals performed up to 80 percent more percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) than their peers, and about 50 percent more CABGs.
  • Benchmark hospitals are proving more efficient in treating cardiovascular patients. The average 100 Top Hospitals Cardiovascular winner discharges patients half a day earlier and at an average cost that is about 13 percent less than its peers.

The 2006 "Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success" study appeared in the Nov. 6 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. In the Solucient study — which objectively identifies hospitals that are the highest performers in the nation in cardiovascular service — only seven hospitals in Pennsylvania received this honor. You can access a complete listing of winners and a report summary at: www.100tophospitals.com.

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PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals, all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital of theUniversity of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.


This release is available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/nov06/presbysol.htm