Northwestern Memorial Hospital Ranked Second in the Nation for Heart Attack Survival

Northwestern Medicine
Cardiology January 21, 2014
James Flaherty, MDNorthwestern Memorial Hospital surpasses the national average for heart attack survival for patients 65 years and older, according to quality data recently compiled by Becker’s Hospital Review. The recently released report ranks Northwestern second in the nation for its heart attack survival rate for older patients.   

“By this measure, for heart attack patients, our survival rate is among the best in the country,” said James Flaherty, MD, medical director of the coronary care unit at Northwestern’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. “It’s a reflection of excellent care and a wide availability of specialty services, starting in our emergency department through our advanced support services for very sick heart patients.”

In the recent data analysis by Becker’s Hospital Review*, Northwestern had a mortality rate of 10.4 percent over a 30-day period. That means nearly 90 percent of those 65 and older having a heart attack when they arrive at the hospital are alive one month later.  

The national mortality average is 15.2 percent, according to Becker’s analysis of data from Hospital Compare, the official U.S. data sets for Medicare patients. The comparison was done over a three-year period.  

Northwestern Medicine’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is a national leader in heart care, advancing research in cardiovascular care and providing a wide variety of sophisticated interventions tailored to each patient. Bluhm also focuses on supporting patients making needed lifestyle changes to lower risk of heart disease.  

Flaherty, also an associate professor of medicine-cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, cited Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s commitment to a “strong continuation of care” that extends to a series of outpatient visits within the first 30 days of a heart attack.  

“It’s really a culture of care approach that includes a lot of things, from the moment you enter the emergency department to follow-up visits after you leave the hospital,” he said. “We stay on top of any issues in an attempt to improve your health at all times.”  

Care for many heart attack patients begins in the hospital’s emergency department, which coordinates closely with the doctors and staff at the Bluhm institute.  

“We are constantly working toward the fastest, most complete treatment for patients who arrive with any potential cardiac condition, and this analysis shows that our emphasis on teamwork is working,” said James Adams, MD, chair of the department of emergency medicine and chief medical officer for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare.  

Northwestern Medicine’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute was ranked the 12th cardiology and heart surgery program in the United States and first in Chicago, Illinois and the Midwest by the 2013-14 U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” report. 
  
Learn more information about heart care at Northwestern Memorial. To schedule an appointment please call (312) NM-HEART. You also can visit Bluhm on Facebook.
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