CHEVERLY — The Cardiac Surgery Program at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center (UM PGHC) received the highest possible quality rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for the third time. The Cardiac Surgery Program is led by Dr. Jamie Brown, a cardiothoracic surgeon serving as the director of cardiac surgery at […]
CHEVERLY — The Cardiac Surgery Program at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center (UM PGHC) received the highest possible quality rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for the third time.
The Cardiac Surgery Program is led by Dr. Jamie Brown, a cardiothoracic surgeon serving as the director of cardiac surgery at UM PGHC and Associate Professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who strives to ensure that his team of surgeons works toward the best possible outcome for patients. Brown has performed thousands of cardiac-related surgeries over the course of his career.
“I hand-picked a special team of professionals with extensive training and experience in cardiac surgery,” Brown said. “They are the best of the best and that is reflected in our patient outcomes.”
The program has received a three-star rating for the past three out of four rating periods for it’s coronary artery bypass grafting procedure, the most common type of open heart surgery in the U.S. that improves blood flow to the heart by bypassing clogged arteries.
“It changes slightly each time,” said STS Director of Marketing & Communications Natalie Boden. “Sometimes it’s a small number of hospitals that reach the highest rating. For example with coronary artery bypass surgery, it’s usually five to seven percent.”
The STS is a nonprofit organization founded in 1964 representing 7,500 surgeons, researchers and allied healthcare professionals worldwide dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients in heart, lungs, and esophagus surgeries as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. In addition to its quality ratings, the STS also provides educational resources in for surgeons and medical publications.
“We have a lot of different educational programs that we host throughout the year,” Boden said. “We have educational programs in person and online as well as peer to peer resources.”
Stacey Ashton recently stayed at UM PGHC for 11 days following a heart attack that required her to have open heart surgery and said her experience there “was excellence at its best.”
During her stay, she was impressed by the attention to detail that the hospital staff and Brown displayed making sure that she had everything she needed during her stay and during her recovery in the weeks that followed. She received around the clock care and the team was engaged in making sure she was healthy.
“When I went to Prince George’s hospital I was very hesitant at first because the hospital had a reputation of not being a hospital that provides quality care for patients and its not really known as a hospital to specifically provide cardiac care,” she said. “But with the new cardiac unit under Dr. Brown’s leadership, the hospital has made a complete 360 degree turn around and I was so impressed with the hospital staff overall.”
The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, according to the STS Public Reporting Toolkit. It compares the outcomes from cardiothoracic surgery programs throughout the United States and Canada.
“For the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, the star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant,” said STS Media Relations Manager Jennifer Bagley.
As part of the STS mission to provide high quality patient care through education, research and advocacy, public reporting of the quality rating allows for transparency and accuracy in cardiothoracic surgery outcomes and STS regards it as a professional responsibility to report these findings in a fair and understandable format.
The rating system reflects quality and safety improvements based on a national database accounting for factors such as mortality, morbidity and medications and hospitals and surgical programs enter voluntarily. UM PGHC’s three star rating indicates that its performance is statistically significantly better than the national average.
“We consistently perform better than the national average in getting patients off the ventilator and out of the hospital faster after cardiac surgical procedures,” said Brown. “This team performs so well together that patients recover faster and leave the hospital sooner after open heart surgery compared to the national average.”
UM PGHC has received a number of other awards and designations, particularly for their heart and stroke programs. The facility was certified and designated as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Service Systems and received the Chest Pain Center V5 with Primary PCI Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology.
“I’m very pleased with my doctors and I think everyone there paid really close attention to me as a patient and it was almost like I was the only patient in the hospital,” said Ashton. “The quality of care was just that great. I can’t speak enough about Dr. Brown and his team.”