Since last reviewing US News & World Report hospital rankings for cardiology, much has changed. Heart transplantation and cardiology have experienced dynamic technological and medication improvements as well as significant procedural advances.
To qualify as a successful heart transplant center, the facility must offer the latest and greatest physician care practices, technologically enhanced equipment, expert nursing care and a proven track record. The 2015-2016 US News & World Report ranks hospitals according to these criteria and others such as patient safety.
For example, Houston’s University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ranks tops for Cancer Care. The Cleveland Clinic tops the nation in Cardiology and Heart Surgery, including heart transplantation. Interestingly, New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery is rated the best hospital for Orthopedics.
This comprehensive report also listed 15 hospitals that scored in the top 20 in at least six different specialties on the “Best Hospitals Honor Roll.” Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital tops the 2015-2016 Honor Role.
My personal cardiology and heart transplantation experience incorporates five hospitals: St Peter’s Hospital and Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia, New York, NY, Dartmouth Hitchcock in Hanover, NH, and Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida.
For the most part, I have received excellent physician care and attentive nursing care in safe environments. My life-saving bypass surgery was performed at St. Peter’s Hospital in September, 2000. I was blessed with the gift of heart transplantation on November 2, 2009.
Yet, I am not an expert on the medical aspects of cardiology or transplantation. I am merely a patient who has witnessed huge changes in the heart transplantation landscape between 2000 and 2016. I now realize that heart transplantation is highly personal with each recipient having unique symptoms and experiences.
Heart transplantation is complicated, which is why I suggest patients carefully evaluate their treatment options. Where you receive cardiology treatment and transplantation care is an important consideration in your short-term treatment and long-term recovery.
Heart transplantation care necessitates excellence in other specialties, including infectious disease, diabetes, neurology, education and more. Choosing a transplant center with excellent services in these related specialties can increase the chance for success. The Cleveland Clinic and others have earned that distinction.
About the US News & World Report
The US News & World Report evaluated nearly 5,000 hospitals across 16 different adult and 10 different pediatric specialties. The evaluations were used to rank hospitals by:
- Hospital Rankings by Specialty
- Hospital Rankings by Metro Areas and States
- Best Children’s Hospital Rankings
- Healthcare of Tomorrow
- Common Care Ratings by Procedure and Condition
Complex Care Rankings – Of special interest to heart transplant patients are Complex Care Rankings, which include surveys from more than 140,000 physicians working in 16 adult specialties in evaluated hospitals. The report only ranks 137 hospitals in each specialty so mention on the list is noteworthy in itself. As mentioned, 15 hospitals, headed by Mass General, comprise the report’s Honor Role.
Common Care Rankings – The top hospitals in Common Care Rankings include evaluations in quality of care in certain specialties, including heart bypass surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The report is based upon records from 5 million patients. Hospitals are rated High Performing, Average or Below Average.
Children’s Care Rankings – Children’s hospitals are ranked across 10 specialties from clinical data in 184 pediatric centers. Rankings included surveys of more than 10,000 pediatric specialists who were asked to which center they would refer their sickest pediatric patients. Twelve children’s hospitals earned excellent scores in three or more specialties and are listed on the Best Hospitals Honor Role.
Top Rated in Cardiology: Cleveland Clinic Foundation
US News & World Report ranks the Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH, 44195, as the best hospital for cardiology care, including heart transplantation, in the United States.
The Cleveland Clinic, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), was ranked in 14 adult and 10 pediatric specialties. The facility offers 1,278 beds and is described as a general medical and surgical facility that had 54,997 admissions in 2014.
The hospital performed 26,013 inpatient and 69,975 outpatient surgeries last year. 76,623 patients visited the emergency room in 2015.
- 3 percent of physicians responding to US News & World Report rated the hospital among the best in care for challenging patients. A score of 50 percent and above is a very strong rating.
- The Cleveland Clinic scored the highest possible score and received better than expected grades in patient survival 30 days post admission.
- For Patient Safety, the hospital scored a moderate 3. The score is based upon the prevention of seven different types of accidents and medical errors that occur in hospitals.
- The Cleveland Clinic ranked highest in discharges with 15,887 Medicare patient discharges in specialty related procedures.
- Nursing intensity is an important consideration in specialty care fields like cardiology and heart transplantation. With a strong population of nurses, the Cleveland Clinic has excellent nursing intensity.
- Another consideration is Nurse Magnet Recognition, a category that accounts for certification compliance with high nursing standards by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The Cleveland Clinic scores very high in this class.
- In the area of Advanced Technologies, which include specialized imaging technologies and transplant services, the Cleveland Clinic scores the highest possible rating, 6 of 6.
- Patient services includes cardiac rehabilitation and hospice. The Clinic scored 7 of 7 in this field.
Latest Heart Transplantation Statistics
Cleveland Clinic has long been recognized one of the top heart transplant centers in the nation. Like many US transplant centers, the number of 2016 heart transplants are below average.
Currently the Cleveland Clinic has 120 patients on their active heart transplant wait list.
Patients fall into the following categories:
- Status 1A – 9
- Status 1B – 62
- Status 2 – 39
- Status 7 – 19 (Inactive)
In 2014, 65 patients received heart transplants at the Cleveland Clinic. In 2015, the number of heart transplants slipped to 47. In 2016, only 13 heart transplants have taken place at the Clinic.
These numbers are symptomatic of many transplant centers and reflect the need to encourage donor awareness. I hope we can work together to increase donor enrollment in 2016 and prolong life for our neighbors.