Sarasota Memorial Hospital records 1,000th heart surgery in one year

Facility earns top scores from Consumer Reports, based on information in national database

Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s main campus is near downtown Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s heart team performed its 1000th surgery in September, setting a record for the number of surgical heart procedures performed at the hospital in just one year, the hospital has announced.

The team also has demonstrated record-setting outcomes in the 2018 fiscal year, “achieving the highest quality ranking possible for adult heart surgeries from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons,” a news release points out.

“To achieve these kinds of results demonstrates not only organizational commitment but also a strong collaboration and respect among SMH’s surgeons and cardiologists,” said Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) CEO David Verinder in the release.

“In 2012, SMH partnered with Columbia University Medical Center in New York to help build its cardiac care program and recruit a chief of cardiovascular surgery,” the release explains. SMH recruited Dr. Jeffrey Sell in 2013 to serve as SMH’s chief of cardiovascular surgery, and he helped recruit two more cardiac surgeons and expand the specialty services the team provides, the release adds. “Together, the five-surgeon team treats a full range of conditions, with subspecialties that range from coronary bypass and arrhythmia treatment, to complex aortic valve replacement, mitral valve replacement and repair, and adult congenital heart surgery,” the release notes.

With Sell at the helm, cardiac surgery volumes increased 15% to 20% each year, the release continues. “Annual volumes have more than doubled since 2012, from 393 that year to 1,015 in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30,” the release points out.

“In addition to the surgical volumes, SMH’s nearly 40 community-based cardiologists performed more than 6,000 catheter-based procedures and assessed more than 15,000 cardiac ultrasounds performed by the hospital’s cardiac technologists during the past year,” the release adds.

Dr. Jeff Sell. Photo courtesy of Sarasota Memorial Hospital

“Meanwhile, SMH’s program demonstrated exceptional patient results, according to benchmark data provided by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ quality database and a review by Consumer Reports,” the release points out. “SMH was listed as a top performer for patient outcomes in the July issue of the consumer magazine,” the release notes. Only 18 of the nearly 500 hospitals evaluated earned top scores from Consumer Reports in both valve replacement and bypass surgery, the two most common types of heart surgery, the release says.

Consumer Reports based its analysis on the database of the national Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), the release explains. This year, SMH has been one of just three cardiac programs in the United States and Canada to earn STS’s highest rating for patient care and outcomes in all five adult cardiac surgery procedures measured, the release notes:

  • Isolated coronary artery bypass (CABG).
  • Isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR).
  • AVR plus CABG.
  • Isolated mitral valve replacement/repair (MVRR).
  • MVRR plus CABG.