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January 23, 2011

UVA recognized as top 100 cardiology hospital

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The University of Virginia Health System has been named one of the Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Healthcare.

UVA is the only hospital in Virginia on this year’s list and is one of 58 hospitals that have attained Top 100 ranking five times or more.

“We are extremely honored by this recognition. The award reflects the expertise, focus and care our entire team provides to our cardiovascular patients,” says Dr. Lawrence Gimple, Director of Clinical Cardiology and Co-Director of UVA’s Heart and Vascular Center. “Data shows that we excel at minimizing post-operative infections and bleeding and at holding down our patients’ hospital stays, which now average 4.58 days. The average time it takes to move our heart attack patients from emergency room admission to opening their blocked artery with a stent is one of the nation’s best.”

According to Dr. John A. Kern, Associate Professor of Surgery and Co-Director of UVA’s Heart and Vascular Center, there is another key finding in the Thomson Healthcare report. “The number of coronary artery bypass procedures performed at UVA was nearly double national benchmark levels. This is considered an important indicator of excellence,” he notes.

Now in its ninth year, the annual Thomson Healthcare Top 100 Hospitals Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success study identifies hospitals with superior performance in treating congestive heart failure and heart attacks. The company uses its findings to establish national standards of care.

The latest study reviewed data from 975 U.S. hospitals and found that outcomes for cardiovascular patients have improved in recent years. National survival rates have increased to 96 percent, and serious complications are less frequent.

According to Thomson Healthcare, these results would be even better if all hospitals performed like the Top 100. The company estimates that 7,000 additional cardiovascular patients could survive each year and another 750 could avoid complications if all hospitals operated at the same level as UVA and other top hospitals.

Other key study findings showed that, compared to other hospitals, providers ranked in the Top 100:

Reported 12 percent shorter hospital stays on average than non-ranked hospitals (5.14 days compared with 5.85 days). Had 13 percent lower costs – or about $2,000 – per case than other hospitals. Performed nearly two-thirds more coronary artery bypass grafts and percutaneous coronary interventions such as angioplasty than other hospitals.

Additional information about the Thomson Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospitals can be found at .

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