February 6, 2019

In Northwest, rated among top U.S. heart surgery programs

Kaiser Permanente is the only program in Oregon and Washington to earn the Society of Thoracic Surgeon's highest rating for three common heart surgeries.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center has earned a distinguished three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for its patient care and outcomes in aortic valve replacement (AVR), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and mitral valve repair/replacement (MVRR). The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places KSMC among the elite for these surgeries in the United States and Canada.

"The bar for achieving a three-star rating is exceptionally high, and to earn it nine years in a row, as our program has, requires that every one of our doctors, nurses and staff is vigilant about providing the highest levels of quality, safety and compassionate care — for every patient, every time," said Yong Shin, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at KSMC. "The STS three-star rating is widely considered the most prestigious in our field, because the STS database is largest of its kind with rigorous statistical analysis that is peer-reviewed."

Historically, approximately 6-10 percent of participants receive the three-star rating for isolated CABG surgery, and approximately 4-8 percent of participants receive the three-star rating for isolated AVR surgery. This is the first time STS has published a rating for MVRR surgery.

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs in the United States and Canada. The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.

The latest analysis of data for surgery covers a three-year period, from July 2015 to June 2018 and includes nearly 2,300 participants.

"The Society of Thoracic Surgeons congratulates STS National Database participants who have received three-star ratings," said David M. Shahian, MD, chair of the STS Council on Quality, Research, and Patient Safety. "Participation in the database and public reporting demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement in health care delivery and provides patients and their families with meaningful information to help them make informed decisions about health care."

The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The database comprises: the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD), the Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD), the General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD), and the mechanical circulatory support database (Intermacs). The STS ACSD houses approximately 6.6 million surgical records and gathers information from more than 3,800 participating physicians, including surgeons and anesthesiologists from more than 90 percent of hospitals that perform heart surgery in the United States. STS public reporting online enables STS ACSD participants to voluntarily report to each other and the public their heart surgery scores and star ratings.

Learn more about Kaiser Permanente's approach to cardiac care.

About STS

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) is a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 7,600 surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society's mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.

*User note: An STS National Database "participant" is a cardiothoracic surgeon or group of cardiothoracic surgeons who agree to submit case records for analysis and comparison with benchmarking data for quality improvement initiatives. At the option of the surgeon or surgical group, the Participant can include a hospital and/or associated anesthesiologists (ACSD and CHSD).

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.


Debbie Karman