• Five Star Cardiac Care


    Eisenhower Medical Center has received five star ratings for cardiac services for the Treatment of Heart Failure and the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation in 2008 by HealthGrades®. Their Tenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, the largest study of its kind, analyzed patient outcomes at virtually all of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals over the years 2004, 2005 and 2006.

    The areas of cardiac care analyzed by HealthGrades include specific surgical procedures, such as coronary bypass surgery, as well as broader treatment areas like heart failure or atrial fibrillation, that encompass multiple treatment options for the condition. HealthGrades rates hospital programs in six different areas of cardiac care:

    • coronary bypass surgery, a heart operation that uses blood vessels to “bypass” clogged coronary (heart) arteries so that blood can flow through the heart
    • valve replacement surgery
    • coronary interventional procedures, which are non-surgical procedures such as angioplasty or the placement of a stent to improve blood flow through clogged coronary arteries
    • heart attack
    • heart failure, in which the heart function declines due to a variety of conditions, and the heart is unable to pump blood effectively to other organs
    • atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm that puts patients at higher risk of stroke

    In each of these areas, analysts review Medicare data from virtually every hospital in the country, and analyze patient clinical outcomes for each program. HealthGrades ranks the outcomes with five stars for programs whose outcomes are better than expected, three stars for those that are as expected and one star for outcomes that are worse than expected. The Medicare population represents a majority of patients for most of the clinical areas reviewed by HealthGrades; for instance, Medicare patients account for 55 to 60 percent of all cardiac patients.

    Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center, Eisenhower’s Cardiac Center of Excellence, offers comprehensive cardiac services, incorporating all of the medical and surgical disciplines involved in the care of patients.

    Eisenhower Medical Center is:

    • Five Star Rated for Care of Heart Failure (2007 and 2008)
    • Five Star Rated for Care of Atrial Fibrillation (2008)
    • Rated Best in the Palm Springs Area for Overall Cardiac Care (2008)

    In addition to the cardiac care rankings, Eisenhower Medical Center received HealthGrades’ 2008 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ and the 2008 Distinguished Hospital for Patient Safety Award™. Eisenhower is one of only 80 hospitals in the nation to receive both awards, ranking it among the top five percent of hospitals in the nation in both categories.

    At a five star hospital like Eisenhower, patients can expect superior heart care and the best clinical outcomes. Five star ratings are awarded to only the top 10 to 15 percent of hospitals in each category.

    “Our nurses, physicians and staff work diligently to ensure our patients receive the best care possible,” says Louise White, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President, Patient Care Services, Eisenhower Medical Center. “This acknowledgement from HealthGrades validates the work we have done and continue to do together, as we elevate patient care at Eisenhower Medical Center.”

    In its report, HealthGrades also noted that if all hospitals performed at the level of five star rated hospitals across 18 conditions reviewed in their overall study, 266,604 Medicare lives could have been saved. Of the potentially preventable deaths, 52 percent were associated with just four common hospital diagnoses, one of which is heart failure.

    Across all procedures and conditions studied, there was an approximate 71 percent lower chance of dying in a five star rated hospital compared to a one star rated hospital. Mortality rates were found to have improved 12.8 percent from 2004 to 2006 at the top-rated hospitals, as compared to 11.4 percent at the lowest rated hospitals.

    The outcome measures compare patient survival rates during a patient’s hospital stay, as well as one month after the patient’s release, and then again six months after release from the hospital. HealthGrades ratings are risk-adjusted, taking into account the differences in the degree of illness of each hospital’s patient population to make fair comparisons between hospitals.

    “Patients will find not only the most skilled physicians and latest technology, but also a safe, caring and healing environment.”

    For cardiac patients, the HealthGrades ratings provide an objective measure that can help them determine the best programs to treat the most serious cardiac conditions. Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center provides a full range of advanced cardiac care services. Patients will find not only the most skilled physicians and latest technology, but also a safe, caring and healing environment.


    Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common heart conditions, affecting three to five percent of the population over 65. A rapid, irregular heartbeat is caused by abnormal electrical impulses that cause the upper chambers of the heart to quiver. As a result, blood can pool in the atria and form clots that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke, significantly increasing the risk of stroke.

    Eisenhower is one of only a few centers in the country to offer a comprehensive approach to treat atrial fibrillation. Board Certified Electrophysiologists Leon Feldman, MD and Andrew Rubin, MD and Board Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeons S. N. Mitruka, MD and Joseph Wilson, MD lead Eisenhower’s Interventional Atrial Fibrillation Program, which customizes treatment for each patient and employs state-of-the-art technology.

    In 2004, 2005 and 2006, Eisenhower treated two and a half times more patients for atrial fibrillation than the national average among hospitals. Six months after treatment, Eisenhower’s atrial fibrillation patients have survival rates nearly five and a half percent better than the national average and nearly two percent better than other hospitals that received a five star rating for treatment of atrial fibrillation.

    [PHOTO dir="assets/news/story/tablePg36.JPG" align="center" caption="Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation" width="571"]



    Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center treats thousands of patients each year for all of the medical and surgical disciplines involved in the care of heart patients, from stress tests to angiography to open heart surgery.

    • Eisenhower Medical Center was only the fourth center in California and the first in the Coachella Valley to receive accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Studies show that Chest Pain Centers increase the chances of survival for patients with acute coronary syndromes by 63 percent.
    • Eisenhower Medical Center was the first hospital in the Coachella Valley to receive designation as a STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) Receiving Center for the treatment of patients having heart attacks. Primary intervention is to take patients to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab for emergency percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)—a surgical procedure that opens narrowed or obstructed blood vessels.
    • Eisenhower has two state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Labs, where more than 2,000 cases were performed in the past year.
    • Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center participates in clinical trials that offer patients promising new therapies that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
    • Eisenhower’s Board Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeons perform more than 400 procedures annually.
    • Eisenhower’s Interventional Atrial Fibrillation Program is one of fewer than ten in the nation to offer comprehensive services for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
    • Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center is among only a few cardiac surgery programs in the United States to perform the minimally invasive thoracoscopic maze procedure.
    • The only fully-dedicated Electrophysiology Laboratory in the Coachella Valley, with nearly 800 cases each year.
    • Eisenhower Renker Wellness Center—which includes the Glickman Heart Failure Clinic, Tamkin Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation program, state-of-the-art cardiac monitoring and exercise equipment—rated among the best (the top one percent) of the more than 3,000 cardiac rehabilitation centers in the United States by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
    • A dedicated team of anesthesiologists, pulmonologists, perfusionists (heart-lung machine operators), surgical assistants and nurses specializing in the care of cardiac patients from admission to discharge.

    For more information about Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center and its programs, please call 760-837-8450.

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