Springfield hospital named among top heart facilities

A recent Heart Surgery Safety Guide published by Consumer Reports included the Springfield Regional Medical Center as one of its top heart hospitals.

The report, which listed hospitals by region, included the hospital as one of 12 top heart facilities in the Midwest. In Ohio, Fairview Hospital and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus were also included on the list.

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The Springfield Hospital has focused on making the procedures as efficient and organized as possible, which typically means less time on the operating table and fewer complications, said Dr. Surender Neravetla, director of cardiac surgery at Springfield Regional Medical Center.

“We have a very expeditious, well-oiled machine so to speak,” Neravetla said. “Because of that we do the same procedure in a much shorter time than any of the others.”

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The ratings were based on data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for hospitals that agreed to share the data. The ratings reflected a hospital’s performance in coronary artery bypass surgery between July 2017 and June 2017 and aortic valve replacement surgery between July 2014 and June 2017, according to the ranking.

The Springfield Regional Medical Center ranked ninth of the 12 hospitals listed. It was rated better than expected for coronary artery bypass surgery and as expected for aortic valve replacement surgery. Residents in Clark and Champaign Counties sometimes seek care in other communities, Neravetla said. But the rankings show residents can often get high-quality care without leaving Clark County, he said.

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“Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how our heart program ranks compared to neighboring cities,” he said.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons compared Mercy Health – Springfield’s data to 131,158 other surgeries at 891 different sites, Neravetla said. Their data for coronary bypass surgery showed the readmission rate following the procedure in 2017 was 5.5 percent in Springfield, compared to 10.6 percent for similar facilities and 10.1 percent for the STS average.

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It also showed patients required blood transfusions following the procedure far less often than other sites. In Springfield, the rating was 6.6 percent compared to nearly 30 percent for similar facilities and 29 percent for the STS average.

“This is the result of multiple departments working hand in glove to produce these kinds of results,” Neravetla said.

He said the hospital has earned the STS’s top three-star rating for those procedures several times, including the most recent year reviewed.

The Springfield Regional Medical Center is operated by Mercy Health and is the largest employer in Springfield. Mercy is also the largest health system in Ohio and among the top five employers in the state, with more than 33,500 employees serving communities throughout Ohio and in Kentucky.

“Open-heart surgery is no small matter,” the Consumer Reports Guide says. “Surgeons often saw through the breastbone to open the chest, connect the patient to a heart-lung machine, stop the heart, then repair it. Despite the complexity, doctors performed more than 200,000 such procedures in the U.S. in 2015.”

The Springfield News-Sun digs into important stories about the biggest employers in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent coverage of break-out profits for Navistar and a now-nixed proposal to spin off Speedway. For this story, the paper spoke to hospital officials and reviewed a guide from Consumer Reports guide for heart surgery patients.

By the numbers:

12 — Midwest hospitals included in ranking

9 — Springfield’s ranking in Midwest

4 — Ohio hospitals included in ranking

33,500 — Mercy employees in Ohio and Kentucky

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