Heart Surgery Volumes & Outcomes

Volumes identify the number of procedures a hospital has performed and is a good indication of healthcare experience. Ou​tcomes combine various factors to evaluate the clinical success of a hospital's healthcare practices. In fact, the two are closely related: numerous research studies have demonstrated that larger volumes generally lead to better outcomes.

In August 2015, Lurie Children’s sponsored the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association’s Summit on Transparency and Public Reporting of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Outcomes. National experts on congenital heart disease data and reporting gathered to discuss the importance of sound public reporting. Learn more about the summit.

Outcomes Data & STS Rating

We have performed more pediatric heart transplants since 1988 than any other healthcare provider in Illinois. Our first-year survival rate for heart transplant patients, more than 95%, far exceeds the national average of 87%, and our long-term survival rates are also exceptional. 

Lurie Children’s Division of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery participates in public reporting of our outcomes as posted on the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ website. STS updates outcomes data for congenital heart surgery only once yearly, after the Spring data analysis is completed.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons rated Lurie Children’s as a 3-Star hospital, the highest rating level awarded, in their Spring 2016 Harvest Report of the STS Congenital Cardiac Surgery Database. Lurie Children’s overall observed-to-expected ratio (O/E) for the reporting period January 2012-December 2015 was 0.62 with an adjusted mortality rate of 1.9%, compared with 3.1%, the STS aggregated centers’ adjusted mortality rate. The lower than expected mortality is the result of the outstanding teamwork and collaboration of Lurie Children’s Heart Center.

The graphs below display our volumes and outcomes data as of September 19, 2016.

Click on the graph above for a larger view.

Note: Level 5 to Level 1 indicates transition from Most Complex (Level 5) to Least Complex (Level 1) congenital cardiac surgical procedures.
Learn about the meaning behind STAT scores and categories.
Click on the graph above for a larger view.

Click on the graph above for a larger view.

Click on the graph above for a larger view.

Click on the graph above for a larger view.

Heart Center Volumes Information

Our team brings together more than 35 pediatric cardiologists and cardiovascular-thoracic surgeons with depth of expertise from fetal medicine to adult congenital heart disease.

  • Each year, our cardiologists see more than 12,000 pediatric patients in outpatient diagnostic visits and more than 800 inpatients.
  • We perform 900 fetal echocardiograms annually
  • Our doctors see patients throughout the Chicago region at 15 sites
  • We perform 15,000 minimally invasive diagnostic cardiac imaging studies, including echocardiography, magnetic resonance and computed tomography​, on an annual basis
  • We perform 500 cardiac catheterizations, including interventional procedures like angioplasty, septal defect closure and device placement, each year
  • We perform an average of 400 open and closed heart surgeries annually
  • Our significant historic contributions to the understanding and treatment of children with vascular ring include:
    • 502 patients in 63 years, the largest reported series in North America
    • First PA sling repair in 1953
    • First pericardial tracheoplasty in 1982
    • First tracheal autograft in 1996

Top Marks in CNN
Transparency Report Card

Lurie Children’s pediatric heart surgery program is one of only three in the country to publicly report quality and outcomes data in every category tracked in a CNN transparency report card.

The CNN article stresses that transparency about heart surgery success rates is critical for parents choosing the best hospital for their child. One of these key transparency measures is public reporting of outcomes to the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS), and this data is considered to be the “gold standard.” A consumer-friendly guide on how to understand a hospital’s STS data and other reported quality measures accompanies the CNN article.

Lurie Children’s heart surgery survival rate as shown on the STS website is 98.3%, one of the top three survival rates among the centers participating in the public reporting initiative. Lurie Children’s also has the second largest pediatric heart transplant program in the United States.