PINEHURST — FirstHealth of the Carolinas has earned a distinguished three-star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for its patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting procedures.
The three-star rating, which represents the highest category of quality, places FirstHealth’s Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery program among the elite for heart bypass surgery in the United States and Canada.
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 across the U.S. 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.
Peter Ellman, M.D., FACS, senior cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at FirstHealth, said the three-star rating reflects the hard work of the program’s staff.
“I could not be prouder of our team,” he said. “This distinction comes as a result of years of dedication and hard work. It also speaks to the legacy of the program started by Dr. John Krahnert in 1992 when the bar was set for the highest level of heart care. When Mickey Foster took over as CEO in 2019, he set this as one of the goals for the program. I think it’s a great example of how sometimes you need to verbalize a goal to really focus your efforts to get there.”
David M. Shahian, M.D., chair of the task force on quality measurement, and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons congratulates STS National Database participants who received three-star ratings.
“Participation in the database and public reporting demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement in health care delivery and helps provide patients and their families with meaningful information to help them make informed decisions about health care,” he said.
The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The Database includes four components: 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 6.9 million surgical records and gathers information from more than 3,800 participating physicians, including surgeons and anesthesiologists from more than 90 percent of groups that perform heart surgery in the U.S. STS public reporting online enables STS ACSD participants to voluntarily report to each other and the public their heart surgery scores and star ratings.
“We always say that we provide world class heart care for the people of the Sandhills, and it is heartening to know that the objective data supports that claim,” Dr. Ellman said. “Moreover, this distinction is based on three years of data for every patient who has had coronary artery bypass grafting in our program, reflecting consistent excellence over a long period of time. This only happens when you have an incredible team that works together with all pistons firing to provide the best possible care for the patients in our area and beyond.”