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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.|
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Based on risk-adjusted data, the patient mortality rate has declined 53 percent between 1994 and 2002.
“This is great news for consumers and a clear example of how public reporting of performance data can improve health care quality,” Commissioner Jacobs said. “These results are also a tribute to the hospitals and surgeons who have worked so hard to make their cardiac surgery programs safer. Hundreds of lives have been saved over the years as a result.”
The Commissioner was joined by Dr. Charles Dennis, Chairman of the Department of Health and Senior Services’ Cardiovascular Health Advisory Panel (CHAP), a 17-member group of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and consumers that provides expert advice on issues concerning cardiac health care services.
“The results achieved in this report reflect the concerted effort made by
In evaluating performance, the department examined 30-day mortality rates for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Thirty-day mortality includes deaths during the hospitalization in which the surgery was performed, or deaths after discharge but within 30 days of surgery, whichever comes later.
The report includes performance data on individual cardiac surgeons as well as each of the 17 hospitals performing cardiac surgery in 2002.
All data are risk-adjusted to allow fair comparisons among hospitals and surgeons treating diverse patient populations. In effect, risk adjustment gives "extra credit" to hospitals and physicians treating sicker patients. Some conditions considered in adjusting the data include kidney failure, stroke, or previous open heart surgery.
According to the report released today, there were 7,391 isolated bypass procedures in 2002 and 159 deaths within 30 days.
Sixteen hospitals had rates that were statistically the same as the statewide average. Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in
The report also includes individual performance data for 55 surgeons who performed at least 100 procedures in one hospital in 2001 and 2002 combined.
Two surgeons who no longer perform cardiac surgery in
To get a clearer picture of statewide performance over the years, the department analyzed nine years of data and risk-adjusted them to account for changes over time in the overall patient population. Generally speaking, patients in more recent years have had risk factors that increase their risk of dying.
That analysis shows the death rate has dropped by 53 percent - from 4.49 in 1994 to 2.11 in 2002.
The consumer report and a companion technical report are available on the department’s web site, http://www.state.nj.us/health/hcsa/cabmenu.htm . Reports may also be obtained by calling 1-800-418-1397, or by writing to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Office of Health Care Quality Assessment, P.O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625.
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Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360