Cardiovascular Center named one of nation's 100 best

Chitwood
GREENVILLE, N.C.  (Dec. 15, 2003)  —  For the second year in a row, the Cardiovascular Center of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina has been named among the nation's top 100 centers for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Solucient, a firm that collects and analyzes health care information, named the Cardiovascular Center in its fifth "100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success" study, which identifies hospitals that are setting high performance standards for cardiovascular services throughout the nation. Solucient takes into account mortality rates, complication rates, lengths of stay, the cost of care and other data that are keys to quality patient care. Solucient doesn't consider a hospital's reputation or notoriety in its rankings.

The center is ranked among teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency training programs. Pitt County Memorial Hospital has a post-residency and post-fellowship program that trains surgeons in robotic and mitral valve surgery. PCMH was the only teaching hospital with a residency program in North Carolina to make the list. The only other hospital in the state to be included was Mission Hospital in Asheville, listed among teaching hospitals without a cardiovascular residency program. The top community hospitals were also listed, but none from North Carolina made the list.

"I think it demonstrates an ongoing commitment by our staff and physicians to make sure we are bringing high-quality care to our patients," said Deborah Davis, PCMH president. "We also believe this effort provides us with a strong foundation of quality cardiac services as we move forward with plans to build a new cardiovascular facility."

Davis also credited the hospital's partnership with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and private-practice physicians for the quality of heart care delivered at PCMH.

Using information from Solucient's hospital database and from the publicly available Medicare Provider Analysis and Review data set, Solucient looked at hospitals that treated patients with acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty and coronary artery bypass graft (more commonly known as heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty and heart bypass surgery).

Dr. Randolph Chitwood, a cardiothoracic surgeon and director of the Cardiovascular Center, said being included among the top 100 cardiovascular hospitals for the second year in a row was a "vote of confidence" in the quality of cardiac care delivered at PCMH.

"The importance of the Solucient recognition resides in actual measurements of quality and not merely name recognition of a medical center," Chitwood said. "It suggests that our institution gives the highest quality of care and exceeds all national guidelines for cardiovascular therapy. This achievement is the work of many people including the physicians, nurses, technicians and administrators associated with our Cardiovascular Center and cardiovascular diseases program."


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2481