Mount Sinai’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab Receives Highest Safety Rating from New York State

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Continuous Improvement of Medical Protocols Makes New York’s Busiest Cardiac Catheterization Lab Also One of Its Safest

Mount Sinai’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory has been awarded New York State’s highest "two-star" safety rating in the categories of overall and non-emergency cases for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to new data released March 13, 2012 that examine patient discharges from 2007 – 2009.

The Lab achieved these results while also performing the highest number of PCI procedures in the state – 5,060 in 2009, and 13,993 for the entire three-year period from 2007 to 2009. The report, produced by the New York State Department of Health, assessed data for all 54 cardiac catheterization labs in the state.

“We have shown that teamwork and adherence to meticulous standardized medical protocols can drive complication rates to their minimum, and this is evident by the ‘two-star’ safety rating we have achieved for the last 15 years,” said Samin Sharma, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “In addition, we strictly adhere to the published guidelines for PCI, so that our patients consistently receive the most appropriate treatment.”

Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart, the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, and the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health, said, “This success is made even more notable by the type of complex cases Mount Sinai Heart cath physicians routinely treat. In addition to the expertise and dedication of our interventionalists, our first-class patient outreach and education programs, as well as affiliate partnerships throughout the region, increase the quality of care and improve patient outcomes.“

PCI is a minimally invasive technique used to treat patients with diseased or blocked coronary arteries. During the procedure, a catheter is threaded through the body, typically from an artery in the groin to a blocked or occluded vessel in the heart. The occlusion is removed and a stent is often inserted to maintain flow within the blood vessel.

The condition of patients entering a cardiac catheterization lab can vary widely, from those experiencing early symptoms of heart disease up to those in the middle of a major myocardial infarction (heart attack). Dr. Sharma stressed that to obtain the highest two-star safety rating from New York State, where data are risk-adjusted to account for the varying level of difficulty involved in treating each patient, a cardiac center has to accept difficult cases and complete them with virtually no complications.

"Our strong leadership team encourages open communication among the medical team so that information flows not just from the top down, but also to everyone involved in patient care," said Annapoorna Kini, MD, newly-appointed Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. "We emphasize constant incremental improvement in every area, establishing protocols by teamwork, and an open discussion of policy among clinical staff.”

"It is very important that everyone is on the same page in terms of the protocol of the lab so that there is a tested system in place to manage any situation that may occur. We continuously educate staff and change our practices based on available data. We review cases as a group and stay in constant communication. Senior attending interventionalists are present whenever the lab is open, which is six days a week," Dr. Sharma explained.
New York State tracks PCI data in three categories: overall, non-emergency, and emergency. Mount Sinai’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab achieved the highest two-star safety rating in the overall and non-emergency categories.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by US News and World Report.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, US News and World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation’s top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and US News and World Report and whose hospital is on the US News and World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.
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