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Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is honored as one of the nation’s 100 top cardiovascular hospitals


For Immediate Release                                                                 

November 16, 2009                                                                                         


Contact:  Marcia Opal

Public Relations Director




Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is honored

as one of the nation's 100 top cardiovascular hospitals


            Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, has been selected one of the nation's top cardiovascular hospitals, according to the 2009 Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success study released today.

            Lutheran General is one of the teaching hospitals named to the 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list, which was compiled by Thomson Reuters, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company that provides critical information to leading decision makers in health care and other industries.  This is the fourth time Lutheran General has received this recognition.  Also on the list is Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn.

            The 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study identifies hospitals that are setting superior levels of performance for inpatient cardiovascular services throughout the nation.  The study examined the performance of 971 hospitals that treat a broad spectrum of cardiology patients, including those undergoing acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).

      According to the 2009 analysis results, the 100 top performers provided exceptional care and significantly better post-discharge outcomes, including lower readmission rates for heart failure and heart attack patients, as well as lower 30-day mortality rates for heart attack patients.

            "This national recognition acknowledges that Lutheran General's outstanding cardiovascular services are considered a benchmark in the health care industry, and recognizes the clinical expertise of our dedicated team of medical, surgical, nursing and technical professionals," said William P. Santulli, interim president of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital/Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital.

            Nagui Sabri, M.D., director of the division of cardiology at Lutheran General, pointed out that Lutheran General provides a full spectrum of non-invasive and invasive cardiac services.  In addition, he noted that the hospital previously was recognized by Thomson Reuters as being one of the top 15 major teaching institutions in the nation. "As a teaching hospital, Lutheran General and its physicians are pioneering the latest technologies for treating heart disease and are on the leading edge of cardiac research."

            Lutheran General Hospital's cardiovascular achievements include:

·        100 percent compliance with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure (HF) core measure goals.  These targets, established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)/Hospital Quality Alliance, are known to provide patients with the best results.

·        Recognition by CMS as being one of the top 10 percent of hospitals in the country with the lowest mortality rate for heart attacks.

·        A faster than the national benchmark-of-excellence rate in providing angioplasty treatment to heart attack patients who arrive at the emergency department.  At Lutheran General, this "door-to-balloon" time is 69 minutes vs. the national standard of 90 minutes.

·        Recognition as a Blue Cross Blue Shield center of distinction for cardiac care, an achievement reached by hospitals that demonstrate their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for cardiac patients.

·        Certification as a primary stroke center by the Joint Commission in recognition of the hospital's exceptional outcomes for these patients.

·        A"Get With the Guidelines" gold award from the American Heart Association for Lutheran General's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of cardiac care for patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease.

·        Achieving the best overall surgical morbidity ranking in the country, according to the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program of the American College of Surgeons.

·        A heart failure program with an excellent record of low readmissions compared to national standards, and a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program.

·        A pediatric heart surgery program at Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital for the treatment of congenital anomalies and acquired heart disease.

·        Multidisciplinary hospital teams that focus on evidence-based practice, core measure compliance and rapid improvement strategies for acute myocardial infarction and heart failure.

·        Being the only hospital in the area to provide state-of-the art treatments such as the Impella cardiac assist device for patients experiencing heart attacks; and electrophysiology (including ablation) of simple and complex arrhythmias in patients, ranging from infants to seniors, provided by a team of pediatric and adult specialists. Among the other advanced procedures are off-pump bypass surgery and cardiac resynchronization therapy device and defibrillator (CRT-D) implantation.

·        Fourteen cardiovascular-related clinical trials and research projects under way such as the National Institute of Health's defibrillator VEST (Vest prevention of Early Suddeen death Trial) clinical study to help predict a patient's risk of lethal heart rhythms.

·        Creation of an award-winning Risk Evaluation in Action for Cardiovascular Health (REACH®) program to identify high-risk patients, provide risk reduction education prior to discharge, and encourage outpatient compliance through electronic medication/healthy lifestyle/physician follow-up reminders to persons with heart disease and diabetes.

·        A fully accredited three-year cardiology fellowship training program.

·        Accreditation in all adult echocardiography and vascular procedures by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) and the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories.

·        Recognition by the CMS in 2007 as being the only hospital in the state and one of only 17 in the country rated better than the national average for heart attack care based on cardiac mortality data.  The analysis included 4,477 hospitals in the US.

·        A recently launched adult congenital heart disease program, heart failure clinic, 'Having a Future with Heart Failure Care' education and support group for patients and families, and a dedicated inpatient cardiovascular education television channel.


The Thomson Reuters 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study is considered a valuable tool for other institutions striving to improve performance.  To qualify for the "100 Top" recognition, hospitals have to rank above their peers in eight performance measures that indicate high-quality outcomes and efficient management of care:  Risk-adjusted medical (AMI and HF) patient mortality index; risk-adjusted surgical (PCI and CABG) patient mortality index; risk-adjusted complications index (includes post-operative hemorrhages and post-operative infections); core measures score (a group of measures that assess process of care); percentage of CABG patients with internal mammary artery use; procedure volume threshold; severity-adjusted average length of stay; and severity- and wage-adjusted cost per case.

According to the 2009 analysis, the 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospital winners have:

·        17 percent lower mortality rates for heart attack patients

·        10 percent lower mortality rates for heart failure patients

·        27 percent lower mortality for bypass surgery patients

·        22 percent lower mortality following PCI

·        Fewer post-operative complications (99 percent of patients were complication-free)

·        Close to 12 percent shorter average hospital stays

·        12 percent lower cost per case


The Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success study utilizes the two most recent years of data from public sources including the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data set, the Medicare Cost Report, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data set.

The 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals' winners were stratified in categories or peer groups that represent hospitals throughout the country, and included 30 teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency/fellowship programs (which was Lutheran General's category); 40 teaching hospitals without cardiovascular residency programs; and 30 community hospitals.  More information about the study is available at and the November 16, 2009, issue of Modern Healthcare.

            Lutheran General Hospital is a 645-bed teaching, research and referral hospital, a Level I trauma center, and one of the largest hospitals in the Chicago area.  It also is home to Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital, the only children's hospital in the greater north and northwest suburban region of Chicago and a major regional referral center for a broad range of infant and pediatric services.

            The top cardiovascular hospitals honor is among several national recognitions Lutheran General received during the past year.  For the 11th time, Lutheran General was recognized as one of the 100 Top Hospitals and 15 top major teaching hospitals in the country by Thomson Reuters.  Lutheran General is one of only six hospitals in the nation to receive this recognition 11 or more times.  For the 10th year, Lutheran General was rated by US News & World Report as being one of America's Best Hospitals, receiving 'top 50 in the nation' rankings for medical excellence and advanced capabilities in many specialties.


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