National ranking of heart surgery centersConsumer Reports is the group that ranks everything ranging from cars to vacuums. This time round the group was ranking Bypass surgery Centers in the country. The rating aimed at identifying the top performing 50 centers in the nation based on the risk adjusted data sent to the registry of Society of  Thoraic Surgeons. The list was posted in the internet and included the Massachusetts General Hospital as well as a few others community medical centers. Some of the centers that received the top rating of three stars from the group included George Washington surgeons group and mass General.

How different medical centers performed

Of the 221 national surgical groups which agreed to have their CABG data outcomes released to the public, only five of them achieved a one star rating or below average rating. A number of the centers had a significantly low performance below average, which included the Allied Physicians which is associated with the Lutheran Hospital of Indiana, the Las Vegas Desert Springs Hospital Medical Centre, Fort Worth Texas based Baylor All Saints Medical Center, the Regional Heart Center Thoraic Surgical Associates that is affiliated with the Ohio Mercy Medical Center and the Texas based United Regional Physician Group.

According to an article released by David F Torchiana and Timothy G Ferries both of the Massachusetts General Hospital, this was a watershed event that enhanced accountability in the world of health care. Some states like Pennsylvania and New York already allow accessibility to their clinical outcomes data. However, the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database features voluntary reporting by over 90 percent of the estimated 1, 100 programs on cardiac surgery in the nation. This data is collected from the charts of patients.

What consumers can see from the rating?

The rating allows consumers to see more than just the total score of the center. For instance, information about the 30 day survival like when the patient has a 98 percent possibility of surviving the next 30 days after completion of the surgical procedure as well as after the patient is discharged from the medical facility. Complications are also noted such as a patient having an 89 percent chance to avoid all the major five complications that are likely to occur. Use of the appropriate medications like beta blockers, statins and aspirin like the patient has a 90 percent possibility of getting all the four recommended medications. The same report will also show the surgical technique used by the hospital like using an internal thoracic artery to deal with graft.

According to David M. Shahian from Massachusetts General Hospital, this data is very objective and the best you can get. However, one of the concerns that physicians had about the public rating is being misclassified. In such cases, health providers can hesitate to take on high risk patients and this has happened in the past and can harm an organization significantly.