Hospital News

WMHS named top 10 percent in nation for cardiac surgery by Healthgrades for 6th straight year

   Western Maryland Health System is among the top 10 percent in the nation for Cardiac Surgery and the only hospital in Maryland to achieve the Cardiac Surgery Specialty Excellence Award for six years in a row (2015-2020). This is according to a national report by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions using Medicare data, and all-payer data from 15 states for bariatrics and appendectomy procedures.

The variation in hospital quality can have a significant impact on the quality of care a patient receives. From 2016 through 2018, patients treated at hospitals receiving the Cardiac Surgery Specialty Excellence Award have, on average, a 54.3 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the award. Similarly, patients treated at hospitals that did not receive the award are, on average, 2.19 times more likely to die than if they were treated at hospitals that did receive the award.

“The hospitals that stand out for exceptional performance in cardiac surgery should be commended for their long-standing commitment to quality,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Healthgrades. “As consumers are increasingly savvy when it comes to finding and selecting a hospital, patients can be confident when they select a hospital that has achieved this Healthgrades recognition.”

“We are very proud to, once again, to have our cardiac surgery program recognized by Healthgrades,” said Barry Ronan, WMHS President and CEO. “When WMHS is recognized for its quality standards and excellence in care, it is yet another confirmation of our commitment to serve our area with the highest quality healthcare.”

WMHS participates with the Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative as part of a quality collaboration with various cardiac surgery programs throughout the state, with improvement being a central focus. Some contributing reasons to the success of the program are:

  • A “one-stop” concept for post-operative care delivery. Consistent and dedicated staff has proven to improve patient satisfaction and lessen post-op complications by recognizing the need for early intervention when needed.
  • Changes to extubation and blood utilization protocols have been implemented, leading to significant improvements in early extubation for patients as well as avoidance of many post-op complications associated with prolonged intubation and blood transfusions.
  • Medication compliance is monitored daily to ensure the National Quality Forum standard of care for pre-operative and discharge medications is met.
  • Changes have been implemented to the discharge care process in an effort to prevent readmissions.

Various other patient-guided activities are in place as the program continues to strive to deliver excellent, high-quality cardiac surgery care.

“Whenever our cardiac surgery program receives an honor like this, the entire team shares in the achievement.” Dr. Mark Nelson, cardiothoracic surgeon at WMHS.

Western Maryland Health System was also recognized for the following clinical achievements:

  • Five-Star Recipient for Coronary Bypass Surgery for nine consecutive years (2012-2020)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Valve Surgery for three consecutive years (2018-2020)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Total Knee Replacement in 2020
  • Five-Star Recipient for Hip Fracture Treatment for three consecutive years (2018-2020)
  • Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Pancreatitis in 2020

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