Achieving the Highest Star Rating for Outcomes and Quality


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Our cardiothoracic surgeons: (left to right) Drs. Allison J. McLarty, Thomas V. Bilfinger, Vinay M. Tak, Joanna Chikwe, and Henry J. Tannous.


STONY BROOK, NY, June 15, 2018 — Our Cardiothoracic Surgery Division has earned the highest quality rating of three stars from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its overall patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures, based on the latest analysis of data from January to December 2017.

This achievement places us among the elite for heart bypass surgery in the United States and Canada.

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in healthcare, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada.

The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.


The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places us among the elite for heart bypass surgery in the United States and Canada.


Historically, approximately 10% to 15% of participants receive the three-star rating for isolated CABG surgery.

"The Society of Thoracic Surgeons congratulates STS National Database participants who have received three-star ratings," says David M. Shahian, MD, chair of the STS Council on Quality, Research, and Patient Safety.

"Participation in the database and public reporting demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement in healthcare delivery, and helps provide patients and their families with meaningful information to help them make informed decisions about healthcare."

"Knowing which hospitals have superior results is a huge advantage for patients," says Joanna Chikwe, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery and director of the Stony Brook Heart Institute. "They can have peace of mind knowing they're getting care from one of the top-rated facilities in the nation."

"Everybody recognizes that the STS standards reflect overall best practices in cardiac surgery, and our achievement of top performance in isolated CABG surgery reflects our approach to all types of cardiac surgery," says Martin Griffel, MD, chief medical officer, Stony Brook Medicine.


Patients can have peace of mind knowing they're getting care from one of the top-rated facilities in the nation. That's the Stony Brook difference.


Dr. Chikwe adds: "This is a huge accomplishment by the entire cardiac team. Each year only a handful of heart surgery centers in the whole of New York State claim this top rating for outcomes and quality in coronary bypass surgery.

"This is the first time we have participated, and our team can feel extremely proud of this important recognition of the truly superb care our patients receive here.

"The quality of the team is the most important contributing factor as how a patient is going to feel, not just tomorrow but in a week's time and a year's time and in 10 years' time.

"We want patients to have the best quality of life and the longest life possible."

There are around 300 people on the Heart Institute team, including nurses and nurse practitioners, perfusionists, physician assistants, physiotherapists, respiratory support technicians, residents and attending physicians in the cardiac surgery operating rooms, anesthesia and critical care, cardiology and cardiac surgery stepdown floors and outpatient clinics; as well as care coordinators, dieticians, social workers, and administrative, technical, and housekeeping support in cardiology and cardiac surgery.

"Additionally, we draw heavily on the support of a wide range of services outside the Heart Institute," says Dr. Chikwe, "including vascular and general surgery, pulmonology, nephrology, neurology, radiology, and endocrinology."

The STS is a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 7,300 surgeons, researchers, and allied healthcare professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest.


Our new state-of-the-art cardiac surgery unit — opening this fall in the new Hospital Pavilion adjoined to University Hospital — will further enhance the care provided by our Cardiothoracic Surgery Division. It will include an entirely new intensive care unit (ICU) with 10 rooms designed especially for patients having cardiothoracic procedures, plus 16 contiguous stepdown rooms. The current ICU will become new cardiac operating rooms (ORs) to go with the new hybrid ORs that are already up and running.


For consultations/appointments with our heart surgeons, please call 631-444-1820. The new STS star ratings will be posted in August 2018.