RUSH Earns Top Ratings From Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Three-star rating distinguishes RUSH cardiac and thoracic surgery programs as among the best in the nation

RUSH has received the highest possible rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for both coronary artery bypass procedures and lung cancer surgeries.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is dedicated to measuring and improving outcomes for cardiothoracic surgical procedures. Its national database uses quality metrics to collect data and calculate scores based on patient outcomes for cardiac and thoracic surgeries.

While the majority of hospitals earn two-star ratings, meaning their program outcomes are as expected and perform similarly to peer institutions, the three-star rating denotes an excellent program with better-than-expected outcomes for patients, says Michael J. Liptay, MD, chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

“Institutions and surgeons that participate in the STS database are choosing to do so, and with their stringent methodology and quality assurance, on average this data is superior to other databases,” Liptay says.

Only 13 programs have earned the three-star distinction in thoracic surgery, while around one in five participating cardiac surgery programs earn the top rating each year. RUSH is among only a handful of medical centers nationally that received three stars for both programs.

They calculate the scores based on how we perform compared to our peers, the other institutions submitting data, Liptay says. RUSH thoracic surgery has received the three-star designation regularly since its inception in 2018, and this is the first three-star rating for RUSH cardiac surgery.

The STS database is an important tool for measuring surgical outcomes, but it is also beneficial for participating programs to know how they can improve outcomes for their patients.

“Some of the risk factors that can predict an adverse outcome, many of those are captured in the database,” says Antone Tatooles, MD, FACS, chief of cardiac surgery. “Those perioperative variables continue to be predictive of how a patient is going to behave post-operatively, so we use this information to see how we perform amongst our peers, but also to predict who the best candidates are for certain interventions.”

Through collaboration among specialties, RUSH has been able to improve patient outcomes by embracing a holistic approach to treatment. Teams work together to determine the best plan of action for each individual patient. These top scores are a testament to the dedicated teams at RUSH who are caring for patients every day.

“The kind of complex patients that present to RUSH require a lot of depth within our teams,” says Faisal Hasan, MD, FACC, clinical division chief of cardiology. “It’s not just one physician or surgeon, but in fact the entire group comes together so that we can maintain a very high level of outcome for our patients.”

This accomplishment is one in a series of honors for these RUSH programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Rush University Medical Center among the best in the U.S. for Pulmonology and Lung Surgery and Cardiology and Heart Surgery.

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