Holston Valley Ranks No. 1 in Tennessee for Cardiology

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Holston Valley Medical Center, twice named one of America's Top 100 heart hospitals, has been ranked No. 1 in Tennessee for cardiology services.

The real importance of this No. 1 ranking is underscored by another No. 1. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of people in our region, our state and our country

Holston Valley Medical Center, twice named one of America's Top 100 heart hospitals, has been ranked No. 1 in Tennessee for cardiology services.

A study issued today by HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent healthcare ratings organization, rated Holston Valley No. 1 in Tennessee and among the top 10 percent in the nation for cardiology care in 2010. America's nearly 5,000 non-federal hospitals were all included in the sweeping study, which examined mortality rates and complication rates from government data from 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In addition to ranking No. 1 in Tennessee for cardiology care, Holston Valley ranked among the state's top six hospitals for all cardiac services.

"The real importance of this No. 1 ranking is underscored by another No. 1. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of people in our region, our state and our country," said Blaine Douglas, Holston Valley's president. "Our hospital has made a commitment to partner with the best physicians, recruit the most experienced staff and invest in the newest technology to prevent and treat heart disease.

"This independent ranking by HealthGrades confirms what our patients already know - Holston Valley is the premier provider of heart care in our region and across our state."

The HealthGrades 12th annual Hospital Quality in America study, the largest annual report of its kind, analyzed patient outcomes from nearly 40 million Medicare hospitalization records. Top-performing hospitals had dramatically lower mortality rates than other hospitals, according to the study.

For the 17 procedures and diagnoses for which HealthGrades analyzed mortality rates, patients at top hospitals had a 72 percent lower chance of dying when compared with the lowest-performing hospitals and a 52 percent lower chance of dying when compared to the U.S. national average.

HealthGrades rates hospitals independently based on data that hospitals submit to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

Dr. Herb Ladley, a board-certified cardiologist with Cardiovascular Associates, said Holston Valley's superior cardiology care is the result of cooperation and partnership between the region's physicians and the hospital.

"The cardiology program at Holston Valley is a model for the state and nation," Dr. Ladley said. "Our patients consistently experience fewer complications, shorter stays and better outcomes.

"For those of us who work every day to deliver the best heart care possible to our patients, that's the most meaningful recognition - knowing we're saving the lives of moms and dads, sons and daughters, grandpas and grandmas, every day."

Holston Valley has long been a leader in cardiac services. The hospital was the site of the region's first open-heart surgery in 1979, and the facility has been nationally recognized for its exemplary door-to-balloon times for heart-attack patients. In both 2005 and 2007, Holston Valley was named one of the nation's Top 100 heart hospitals by Thomson Reuters.

Holston Valley, part of Wellmont Health System, is a member of the Wellmont Regional Heartcare Network, the American Heart Association's exclusive regional partner in the Go Red For Women nationwide movement to prevent heart disease.

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Brad Lifford
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