Floyd Memorial’s Cardiac Surgery Program Ranked #1 in State of Indiana by HealthGrades

January 7, 2011

Leader in Independent Hospital Quality Rankings Validates Floyd Memorial’s Dedication to Patient Outcomes

#1 in Indiana for Cardiac Surgery - 2011

Five years after introducing cardiac surgery as a new service, Floyd Memorial’s Heart and Vascular Center has been ranked #1 in Cardiac Surgery in the state of Indiana by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare quality ratings organization. This recognition speaks loudly to the level of quality and commitment on the part of Floyd Memorial to offer its patients superior heart care.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon David Slater, MD, medical director of the Floyd Memorial Cardiovascular Surgery Program and Cardiologist Mark Bickers, MD, chairman of the hospital’s Cardiology Committee, discussed the progression and growth of the award-winning service.

“In addition to quality ratings, patient satisfaction in cardiac care is also very important to the hospital, and is another area where we always rate extremely high. I think the hospital has done a great job in building a cardiovascular program that delivers quality care in a way that makes patients feel comfortable.”

David Slater, MD
Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Medical Director of Floyd Memorial’s Cardiovascular Surgery Program
University Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates, PSC

“We have created a program that is a well-oiled machine built on the teamwork of all involved. It is not just the work of one person, but a collaborative effort focused on our patients’ best interest. It’s about all the pieces of the puzzle coming together to create a comprehensive and topquality program including paramedic support, nurses, technicians, support staff, referring physicians and the cardiovascular specialists.”

Mark Bickers, MD
Cardiologist
Chairman of Floyd Memorial’s Cardiology Committee
Premiere Cardiology

Building a Quality Program

Best Rated Cardiac Services - 2011

Careful and steady come to mind when conversations about the start-up of Floyd Memorial’s Heart and Vascular Center ensue. According to Dr. Bickers, the program’s success was built around its methodical and well-planned birth.

Dr. Bickers explains, “The hospital followed a ‘walk before you run’ process for creating the program and it was developed with the open-mindedness of the hospital’s administration and the willingness of the cardiologists to move the program beyond the county-hospital capacity and to grow it as a regional service.”

Dr. Bickers and Dr. Slater both agree that the team’s experience plays a huge role in the quality of the program. Dr. Slater commented, “While the program just began in 2006, most of the players involved have years and years of cardiac experience.” Dr. Bickers added, “When the hospital decided to expand its cardiac services, they started with an experienced team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons who were among the most talented in the region. This built rapport with referring physicians because they already had relationships and trusted the care provided by the cardiac team.”

Starting slowly allowed the hospital’s cardiac surgery program to grow at a safe rate, which is key to patient care and quality. “Our level of care and services match any other hospital locally, not withstanding heart transplant procedures,” said Dr. Bickers.

Quality Processes Bring Quality Outcomes

Best Rated Cardiac Surgery - 2011

In fact, over the past year, the hospital was the first in Kentuckiana to perform Minimally-Invasive Cardiac Surgery (MICS). The procedure is a growing effort to offer a less invasive approach to cardiac surgery than the standard coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABG). MICS can be performed on a beating heart through a smaller three-inch incision on the side of the chest instead of requiring complete division of the breastbone, which is performed during a traditional CABG. The outcome for the patient is less trauma, discomfort and scarring, a shorter hospital stay and recovery time and lower risk of infection. According to Dr. Slater, “Looking to the future, a long-term goal will be to continue our efforts to bring more minimally-invasive surgical approaches to patients. The MICS surgery is a great example.”

Over the past year, the hospital’s quality improvement processes have allowed its Interventional Team to develop protocols aimed at beating the American College or Cardiology’s door-to-balloon time recommended guidelines of 90 minutes or less. Door-to-balloon time is the time from when a patient is identified as having a heart attack to the time it takes to get them to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and open the constricted artery. On average, Floyd Memorial is exceeding the national benchmark with an average of 72.5 minutes. Dr. Bickers noted, “With the addition of EKGs on many ambulances, we are starting to be able to differentiate which patients are having a heart attack sooner, so we can alert our 24/7 Interventional Team and initiate preparation before the patient arrives.”

Along with introducing minimally invasive surgical options, 2010 also brought the hospital’s first therapeutic hypothermia case, which was a great success. The treatment protocol was designed for cardiac arrest patients who’ve lost consciousness. The procedure involves the lowering of the patient’s body temperature to slow down brain function and to help reverse some of the negative effects of oxygen deprivation to the brain. After a set period of time, the body is allowed to rise back to a normal temperature. The first case proved successful with the patient experiencing a full recovery and actively participating in the hospital’s Cardiac Rehab Program upon discharge.

Personalized Patient Care

In addition to advances in medical procedures, technology and processes, Floyd Memorial offers a unique model of care on its inpatient Cardiovascular Care Unit called the Universal Bed Concept. In many hospital settings, patients are transferred to different rooms during their stay depending on the level of care they require. At Floyd Memorial, cardiovascular patients are admitted and discharged from the same room and the staff changes the level of care around the patient’s needs. Dr. Slater noted that this arrangement is unique to Floyd Memorial. “The way that the care is delivered on the Cardiovascular Care Unit is something that both patients and their families appreciate. Patients find it very comforting and families love being able to stay with their loved one in their room and not have to move from room to room.”

Another program asset is the expertise of a dedicated nurse practitioner. The on-site nurse practitioner meets with every patient before and after open-heart surgery to answer questions and provide pre- and post-op education. She is essentially an extension of the cardiothoracic surgeon’s practice because she is able to follow-up with patients throughout the day and provides regular clinical assessment back to the surgeon.

Dr. Bickers shared his thoughts on the future of the program. “Everyone involved in the Heart and Vascular Center deserves credit for its quality. As it continues to grow, our success will be built on keeping sight of the fact that we are caring for people and staying focused on providing personalized care in a clean, safe environment to our patients and their family members.”

Free Heart Risk Assessments
Do you know your risk for having a heart attack? Find out by participating in Floyd Memorial’s free heart risk assessment program. Register today by calling 1-800-4-SOURCE (1-800-476-8723).

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Completes Circle of Care

Today more and more people are surviving heart attacks and cardiac events. The recovery process is key to regaining strength and mobility as well as making lifestyle changes to prevent a future episode from occurring.

Floyd Memorial’s Cardiac Rehab Program, certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), offers patients the expertise of nurses, a registered dietitian, a diabetes educator and an exercise physiologist in one convenient location within the hospital.

Prior to being discharged, cardiac patients meet with a medical professional from Cardiac Rehab to discuss concerns and the benefits of the program, and to qualify patients only need a physician referral. In fact, referring physicians receive regular reports on their patient’s progress from the staff so care is well coordinated among all caregivers.

Once discharged, patients receive a private consultation including a cardiovascular assessment so an individualized plan can be developed to meet their needs. Three times a week, patients participate in an hour-long exercise session under the medical supervision of the staff. The program offers state of-the-art treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, air dyne bicycles, recumbent bicycles and steppers, arm ergometers, total body weight strengthening machines and hand held weights. The area is equipped with medical technology and patients’ heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure are monitored throughout the session. In addition, parking spaces are allocated within close proximity to the entrance for ease and convenience.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Department offers a self-pay program for anyone who would like to exercise in a medically supervised setting. For more information, call Floyd Memorial’s Cardiac Rehab Department at (812) 948-7501.