Glenn R Barnhart

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Quality & outcomes in cardiac surgery

December 05, 2013

Do all cardiac surgery programs have the same quality outcomes? This is an important question all consumers must ask themselves if they or their loved ones must undergo an operation on their heart. Heart surgery has become increasingly common in recent years. Earlier awareness on the part of physicians and patients, advanced diagnostic testing and an increasing aging population with the inherent prevalence of heart disease has led to this surge in cases. Additionally, cardiac surgical teams are now operating on patients with multiple medical problems and doing more complex operations. Even with these factors, outcomes for patients continue to be optimal at centers of excellence.

But for today’s consumer, how does one choose where to have heart surgery? There are numerous choices both locally and nationally for all metropolitan areas. The consumer must ask: how do I know I am going to get the best of care? Should I go to a center with a “national” reputation? Is it just the doc...