Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Houston VA Receives Praise for Cardiac Surgery Program

February 7, 2005

Houston VA Receives Praise for Cardiac Surgery Program

Released: February 7, 2005

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David H. Berger, M.D., MEDVAMC Operative Care Line executive (left) prepares for surgery with an anesthesia resident and Grace Campos, R.N., operating room nurse.
photo by: Shawn James, MEDVAMC Media Section

HOUSTON - Last week, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received praise from the Department of Veterans Affairs Continuous Improvement in Cardiac Surgery Program (CICSP) for its remarkable mortality rate of zero percent for coronary artery bypass surgeries in the last six months. In addition, the MEDVAMC was commended for demonstrating consistently low mortality rates in its Cardiac Surgery Section.

The recent CICSP report, covering the 6-month period, April 1, 2004 to September 30, 2004, listed MEDVAMC’s mortality rate for coronary artery bypass as zero percent and the overall mortality for all cardiac procedures as 2.9 percent. For all cardiac procedures, the MEDVAMC’s observed-to-expected mortality ratio was a remarkable 0.6.

The MEDVAMC is one of only four cardiac surgery programs in the entire VA recognized as a low outlier for mortality for the past three years.

“The entire surgical team, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and our rehabilitation staff, should be proud of their hard work in providing consistent, outstanding care to our veterans,” said David H. Berger, M.D., MEDVAMC Operative Care Line executive.

Since 1987, the CICSP has produced risk-adjusted mortality and morbidity reports for cardiac surgery teams and VA Cardiac Surgery Consultants Committee (CSCC) for continuous quality improvement purposes. The CSCC is responsible for reviewing the quality of cardiac surgical treatment at the 43 Veterans Affairs cardiac surgical centers where these procedures are performed. It does so by reviewing both the unadjusted and risk-adjusted operative mortality data and the incidence of perioperative complications.

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