State Issues Annual Cardiac Surgery Report
Albany, November 14 - The survival rate for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery continues to improve every year in New York State according to a report on surgical outcomes released today by State Health Commissioner Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D.
"As a result of technological advancements and quality improvements made by hospitals and surgeons, New York's risk-adjusted mortality rate for coronary bypass surgery has dropped by more than 40 percent in the past five years, and is the lowest so far reported in the United States," Commissioner DeBuono said. "This is encouraging news for those diagnosed with heart disease particularly considering that the number of bypass surgeries performed in the last three years has increased by 12.6 percent."
Since 1989, the Department of Health has published annual statistics it compiles and evaluates on the mortality rates for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. The report issued today reflects the 1994 performance of each of the 31 hospitals approved by the State Health Department to perform cardiac surgery. It also lists mortality rates for all surgeons who performed more than 200 coronary artery bypass operations over the three years, 1992-1994.
In 1994, the average statewide mortality rate for all hospitals was 2.49 deaths per 100 patients, down from 3.52 in 1989.
"The report reflects an impressive record on the part of New York's hospitals and surgeons," the Commissioner said. "The low mortality rates should be reassuring to New York patients who may be facing bypass surgery."
A total of 18,051 coronary bypass surgeries were performed statewide in 1994, up from 16,690 in 1993 and 16,028 in 1992. The 1994 risk-adjusted rates varied among hospitals, ranging from 0.79 to 7.05 deaths per 100 patients. Two hospitals - St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse and St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, L.I. - had mortality rates significantly below the statewide average for 1994. One hospital - Bellevue in New York City - had mortality rates significantly above the statewide average.
"New York has taken a leadership role in setting standards for cardiac surgery, and in monitoring outcomes and sharing performance data with patients, hospitals, and physicians," Commissioner DeBuono said. "I encourage doctors to discuss this information with their patients and colleagues as they develop treatment plans. While these statistics are an important tool in making informed health care choices, many factors can influence the outcome of coronary artery bypass surgery, including the patient's health status, the skill of the operating team and the recovery room staff."
The Health Department will mail copies of its Cardiac Surgery Report to all cardiologists in the state. These physicians normally make referrals to surgeons for patients who undergo coronary bypass surgery. The booklets also will be made available to hospitals and libraries, and the data will be posted on the Internet. Copies of the booklet may be obtained by writing to: Cardiac Report, Box 2000, Albany, New York 12220.
OPA Contact: Robert Hinckley, Director, Public Affairs (518) 474-7354
New York State Department of Health