Northwestern Medicine

The Cardiology and Heart Surgery Program at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Ranks 16th in the Nation According to U.S. News and World Report

Northwestern Memorial Hospital July 19, 2011

Influential rankings driven by federal government clinical data including, death rates, procedure volume, and balance of nurses to patients.

CHICAGO, IL – The Cardiology and Heart Surgery program at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital ranked 16th in the nation in 2011, according to the U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals” issue.

This year, editorial staff for the authoritative and influential guide evaluated nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide and 140 were chosen and ranked according to the Top 50 programs in 16 clinical areas.

“Seven years ago when the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute was created, we set out to build a nationally recognized program that delivered safe and highly specialized cardiovascular care,” said Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, Northwestern Memorial's chief of cardiac surgery, director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and the Heller-Sacks Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Through pioneering new procedures like transcatheter aortic valve replacement and offering sophisticated and complex treatment options, we remain ever vigilant of this goal for both our patients and the community we serve.”

The ranking was driven by hard clinical data, much of which comes from the federal government, including death rates, procedure volume, balance of nurses and patients and reputation based on a survey of randomly selected physicians.

To be considered, a hospital first had to meet at least one of four criteria: it could be a teaching hospital, it could be affiliated with a medical school, it could have at least 200 beds, or it could have at least 100 beds and have four or more of eight key medical technologies. This year, 2,196 hospitals, or 46 percent of the initial number surveyed, met the test. 

Next, the hospital had to meet a volume requirement, individually calculated for each specialty. The required volume was the number of Medicare inpatients discharged in 2007, 2008 and 2009, who had various specified procedures and conditions in the specialty. A hospital that fell short could still qualify if it had been nominated by at least one percent of the physicians in a specialty who responded in 2009, 2010 and 2011 reputation surveys.

View the listings.  The rankings will also be featured in the print issue of U.S. News, available on newsstands August 30.

Learn more about the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Clinical Outcomes.

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