New Jersey Officials Tout Benefits of Public Reporting
The mortality rate for heart bypass surgery patients in New Jersey decreased by 12% from 2003 to 2004, according to the ninth annual state Cardiac Report Card released on Wednesday, the Bergen Record reports.
The report, compiled by the state Department of Health and Senior Services, examined mortality rates for coronary artery bypass graft surgery patients who underwent no other major surgeries during the same hospital stay.
The report included data for the 17 cardiac surgery hospitals and 49 surgeons in the state (Wright, Bergen Record, 5/31). The mortality rates for heart bypass surgery patients were adjusted to account for the overall health of patients at the time of admission to the hospital, according to state Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs.
The report found that 2% of heart bypass surgery patients died in the hospital or within 30 days of their surgeries, compared with 4% in 1994 (Johnson, AP/Houston Chronicle, 5/30).
According to the report, the total number of heart bypass surgeries decreased to 6,177 in 2004 from 8,377 in 1998 because of the increased popularity of angioplasties. In 2004, heart bypass surgery patients spent an average of 6.43 days in the hospital, with a range of 5.64 days to 7.38 days, the report found (Bergen Record, 5/31).
Jacobs said that the annual reports have contributed to the decrease in the mortality rate for heart bypass surgery patients because they have encouraged competition among hospitals in the state. The mortality rate for heart bypass surgery patients also has decreased because the state health department has worked with some hospitals to improve their performance, Jacobs said.
New Jersey and four other states -- California, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania -- publicly report mortality rates for heart bypass surgery patients (AP/Houston Chronicle, 5/30).
The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.