In an effort to improve the quality of healthcare, California hospitals are required by law to submit data on all isolated coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures, which is analyzed to publicly report on measures of CABG surgery quality. Such measures include operative mortality (deaths as a result of surgery), risk-adjusted mortality rate (a measure of the mortality rate for an individual hospital compared to the average of a larger group of hospitals), and case volumes (number of procedures performed per year).
In addition, Stanford strives to closely monitor its outcome data for the other complex surgical procedures performed and voluntarily submits its clinical surgical data to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) National Adult Cardiac Surgery Database. This allows the surgical team to continually compare outcomes on all types of surgical procedures with hospitals nationwide. The combination of clinical data collected and STS national outcome reports is used to continually monitor performance and drive opportunities for outcomes improvement.
Together, these statistics are compiled in report form to assist healthcare consumers, referring physicians, and healthcare insurers compare and choose the most qualified hospitals based upon their surgical needs.
Choosing a qualified hospital can be a daunting task, especially in conjunction with the added burden of illness. Healthcare consumers are bombarded by the media with articles and reports touting excellent and innovative care provided by hospitals nationwide. But how do consumers determine which healthcare provider will truly meet their critical and diverse needs? Outcome reports provide objective numerical proof as opposed to subjective and potentially self-serving accolades. "The proof is in the pudding," and outcome reports provide true reflections of quality and value that other, less factual reporting methods may not.
We at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine know that every patient is unique and deserving of the best possible care. Our outcome reports and evidence-based awards for cardiac care consistently reflect our dedication to exceeding national standards of excellence as well as our commitment to best serve our patients.