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Heart Surgery Quality

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Ensuring Your Child Receives Quality Cardiac Care

Our Quality Indicators for Heart Surgery:

  • Participation in a systematic multi-institutional database (registry) for cardiac surgery
  • Evaluate and benchmark results
  • Outcome-based quality improvement initiatives
  • On-site full-time database manager dedicated to cardiac surgery
  • Participation in preoperative multidisciplinary conference involving cardiology, cardiac surgery, anesthesia, and critical care to plan surgical cases
  • Multidisciplinary rounds involving cardiology, cardiac surgery, and critical care
  • Regularly scheduled peer review quality assurance conference
  • Regularly scheduled multidisciplinary educational conference for “Up-To-Date” topics
  • Routine intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
  • Routine modified ultrafiltration (MUF)
  • Routine cerebral oxygen saturation monitoring
  • Availability of continuous mixed venous oxygen saturation monitoring
  • Availability of institutional pediatric ExtraCorporeal Life Support (ECLS/ECMO) Program
  • Strict protocol for preoperative skin cleansing and appropriately timed antibiotic administration
  • Selection of body weight appropriate dosage of all medications
  • Routine appropriately timed medication regimen to minimize the inflammatory response to surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Defined safety protocol for re-do sternotomy
  • Dedicated pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists
  • Dedicated pediatric cardiac OR nursing team
  • Board-certified PICU physicians in-house 24/7
  • Ongoing patient/family satisfaction survey with active feedback to implement positive change
  • Electronic communication of case details to the team 1 week prior to case
  • Operative briefing and debriefing of the team
  • Defined OR to PICU transfer protocol

Society of Thoracic Surgeons Quality Indicators for Congenital Heart Surgery

In January 2007, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)1 created a task force to develop quality indicators for pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery. Twenty-six quality measures for congenital heart surgery have been developed for National Quality Forum (NQF)2 endorsement.

The quality measures include elements of a heart surgery program’s structure, process and outcomes. Measures focus on six primary operations: ventricular septal defect (VSD), Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD), arterial switch (AS), Fontan and Norwood.


1 The STS is a not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research and advocacy.

2 The NQF is a private, not-for-profit membership organization, whose mission is to improve American health care through endorsement of consensus-based national standards for measurement and public reporting of health care performance data that provide meaningful information about whether care is safe, timely, beneficial, patient-centered, equitable and efficient.