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St. Luke's Boise and Meridian Medical Centers Named Among Nation's Top 50 for Cardiovascular Care

By Ken Dey, News and Community
November 17, 2010

Out of more than 1,000 hospitals surveyed nationwide, St. Luke’s Boise and Meridian Medical Centers were named in the Top 50 for cardiovascular care by Thomson Reuters.

This is the fifth time, and third consecutive year, that St. Luke’s has received this recognition. In previous years it was the Top 100, but this year Thomson Reuters chose to single out just 50 hospitals.

To compile the list of winners, Thomson Reuters analyzed outcomes of patients with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions such as angioplasties at 1,022 hospitals.

“For more than 40 years, St. Luke’s has been known throughout the community and Idaho for its superior heart care,” said Gary Fletcher, CEO of St. Luke’s Boise/Meridian Medical Centers.  “To achieve recognition from Thomson Reuters for a fifth time speaks volumes about the dedicated staff and superior physicians of St. Luke’s Heart who every day deliver life-saving care to patients that is on par with, and often exceeds, that of the nation’s top hospitals.”

St. Luke’s has a long history of providing cardiovascular care. In 1968, Dr. Rodney Herr performed Idaho’s first open-heart surgery at St. Luke’s. Today, St. Luke’s has collaborative relationships with the region’s top cardiologists, and cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons under the umbrella of St. Luke’s Heart. St. Luke’s Heart does more cardiovascular procedures than any other Idaho hospital, and consistently ranks well above the national averages in cardiovascular performance measures.

This is the third consecutive year for the recognition; St. Luke’s also appeared on the Thomson Reuters list in 2002 and 2003. The list of 2010 winners appears in the Nov. 15 edition of Modern Health Care magazine. St. Luke’s joins Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center this year as the only two Idaho hospitals to receive the recognition.

“We’ve chosen a more elite group of winners this year. These hospitals have raised the bar significantly,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals® program at Thomson Reuters. “They deliver higher survival rates, shorter hospital stays, fewer readmissions, and lower costs — which adds up to enormous value for the communities they serve. As a result, everyone benefits: patients, families, employers, insurers and the hospital itself.” The study shows that 96 percent of cardiovascular inpatients survive and approximately 93 percent remain complication-free, indicative of improved cardiovascular care across-the-board over the past decade. The 50 top hospitals’ performance surpasses these high-water marks as indicated by:

  • Better risk-adjusted survival rates (33 percent fewer deaths than non-winning hospitals for bypass surgery).
  • Lower complications indices (21 percent lower for heart failure complications).
  • Fewer patients readmitted to the hospital in the 30 days following discharge.
  • Shorter hospital visits and lower costs. Top hospitals discharge heart patients a half day sooner and spend $1,300 less per case than non-winners.
The study evaluated general and applicable specialty, short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals treating a broad spectrum of cardiology patients. Thomson Reuters researchers analyzed 2008 and 2009 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, Medicare cost reports, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data. They scored hospitals in key performance areas: risk-adjusted mortality,risk-adjusted complications, core measures (a group of measures that assess process of care), percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost.

About St. Luke's Health System

St. Luke’s Boise and Meridian Medical Centers are part of St. Luke’s Health System –Idaho’s largest and only locally controlled health care system employing more than 8,500 people. With hospitals in Boise, Meridian, Twin Falls, Ketchum and McCall, St. Luke’s provides patients with unmatched care in specialized medical fields including cancer,heart and vascular, obstetrics, women’s services and children’s health care. In 1968, heart surgeons at St. Luke’s performed Idaho’s first open heart surgery. In 2010, Thomson Reuters also named St. Luke’s as one of the country’s top 100 hospitals. To find out more visit www.stlukesonline.org.

About Thomson Reuters Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.  We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs 55,000 people and operates in over 100 countries.  For more information, go to http://thomsonreuters.com.

About The Author

Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.

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