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Northwestern Memorial Hospital Best in United States for Heart Attack, Stroke and Heart Failure Survival

Ranked first or second among United States hospitals in survival rates for most pervasive cardiovascular health threats

​CHICAGO, IL – In a feat unmatched by any other United States hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital is ranked first for survival of patients suffering heart failure and second for survival of patients with heart attack and stroke, the three most common and dire cardiovascular health threats.

According to Medicare data from July 2012 through June 2015, the most recent data available, Northwestern Memorial Hospital was:

  • First in the nation for the lowest heart failure mortality rate, with a rate of 6.6 percent. The national average is 12.2 percent.
  • Second in the nation for the lowest heart attack mortality rate, with a rate of 9.9 percent. The national average is 14.1 percent.
  • Second in the nation for the lowest stroke death rate, with a rate of 9.4 percent. The national rate of stroke death for patients is 14.9 percent.

All figures are for 30-day time periods for Medicare patients, the common standard for hospital quality data.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading killer of Americans, and throughout the Northwestern Medicine system, physicians are working on research into prevention and treatment, sharing knowledge and effective practices among disciplines.

“We’ve worked hard to coordinate our specialized care starting in the emergency department and transitioning up to advanced support services for our sickest cardiovascular patients,” said James Flaherty, MD, medical director of the coronary care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital who is also an associate professor of medicine-cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Time is of the essence in treatment of heart attack and stroke, and coordinating care throughout the hospital with different physicians is helping our patients live longer, and fuller, lives.”

Richard Bernstein, MD, PhD, medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, credited the high survival rates for the hospital’s stroke patients with coordinated team efforts across various parts of the hospital and broader health system.

“From the moment a stroke patient hits our system, they get the combined expertise of vascular neurology and neurosurgery, neurointerventional radiology, neurocritical care, as well as emergency medicine, all working together to accurately diagnose and treat the stroke,” said Dr. Bernstein, who is also a professor of neurology at Feinberg. “We care for the whole patient for the entirety of their illness, from onset to treatment, recovery and prevention. This ensures a uniform, state-of-the-art, individualized plan of care for every patient.”

For Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s heart failure program, Allen Anderson, MD, medical director of the Center for Heart Failure, credited the survival rate in part to the creation of a specialized Bridge and Transition, or BAT, team.

“The care team visits patients throughout the hospital to identify those suffering from heart failure and treat them most effectively, whether they are in the early or most advanced stages of the disease,” said Dr. Anderson, who is also a professor of medicine-cardiology at Feinberg.

“At the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, we take a comprehensive look at every facet of heart disease to continuously improve our outcomes,” said Patrick McCarthy, MD, executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and the Heller-Sacks professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Feinberg. “Our physicians, nurses and staff are committed to highly personalized medicine incorporating the latest advances in research, and a team approach to achieve the best outcome for each patient. We are exceptionally proud that these teams have been remarkably successful in treating such challenging and serious conditions.”

The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is part of the Northwestern Medicine health system, with multiple sites of care in Chicago and the region. For more information or to make an appointment with a cardiovascular specialist, call 312.NM.HEART.

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