LIJ among state’s top hospitals for cardiac surgery

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A new report reviews statewide adult cardiac surgery performance in the period immediately preceding the union Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital operations. Long Island Jewish’s performance was amongst the best in the state. (Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

Before the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital opened at the North Shore University Hospital campus in 2017, the Manhasset hospital and Northwell’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center performed heart operations separately.

A new report reviews statewide adult cardiac surgery performance in the period immediately preceding the union of the two hospital operations, and Long Island Jewish’s performance was among the best in the state.

The hospital’s observed mortality rate for valve surgery of 1.61 was below the state average of 3.12, according to the New York State Department of Health report, which analyzed performance between 2014 and 2016. North Shore’s was slightly above that average at 3.23. The figure is calculated by dividing the number of patients who died by the number of patients and multiplying it by 100

Both outperformed the state average for the operation when using a risk-adjusted mortality rate, an estimate of what the hospital’s mortality rate would be if the “provider had a mix of patients identical to the statewide mix,” according to the Department of Health.

Both hospitals also fell below the state’s average observed mortality rate of 3.60 for TAVR procedures, which address aortic valve stenosis. Long Island Jewish’s rate was 1.82 while North Shore’s was 3.43.

North Shore performed 496 TAVR operations during the three-year period, and Long Island Jewish performed 55.

“This is the eighth consecutive reporting period that the cardiothoracic surgery team now based at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital has been recognized by the state for superior outcomes – an amazing achievement,” said Dr. Alan Hartman, senior vice president and executive director of cardiothoracic services at Northwell Health.

Five Long Island Jewish heart surgeons together earned a risk-adjusted mortality rate far below the statewide rate for isolated coronary artery bypass grafting and valve surgery. Of 299 surgeries, there were only two deaths.

Among the surgeons was Dr. L. Michael Graver, the only one to individually earn such a designation. The Manhasset resident died in a private plane crash with his wife in September.

When the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital opened in February 2017, Hartman said it was ending “an arms race between two cardiac campuses several miles apart.”

The following February, surgeons performed the first heart transplants on Long Island at the site.

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