Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center Ranked Among Nation’s Best for Heart Procedures by Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Hospital achieved 3-star ranking in three categories based on high-quality outcomes for common heart procedures

May 19, 2016

Milwaukee, Wis.Reinforcing its position as a heart health destination, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has awarded Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center its highest possible rating, demonstrating high-quality outcomes for heart procedures.


Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center received a three-star rating in 2015 for the three most common heart surgeries in the United States: coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG); aortic valve replacement surgery (AVR); and combinations of both procedures (AVR+CABG). According to data from the 2015 report, only 1.17 percent of all heart centers in the nation received three stars in all categories.


“To be recognized with a three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a testament to the level of experience and overall focus on quality from the entire heart and vascular team at Aurora St. Luke’s,” said Dr. David Kress, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center and Aurora’s Cardiac Quality physician champion. “The rating reinforces to our patients and their families that when they choose Aurora St. Luke’s for their heart-health needs, they’re getting the best possible care.”


The three-star rating system draws on STS’s extensive database that includes more than four million surgical records and covers roughly 90 percent of the more than 1,100 surgical groups in the U.S. that perform cardiac surgeries. The rating system is designed to show how well surgical groups perform in terms of patient survival rates, the absence of complications, and other key metrics.


The accomplishment is especially significant given Aurora St. Luke’s high volume of these procedures. In 2015, the hospital performed more than 900 of these types of surgeries.  Volume provides more experience, and the more experienced medical centers like Aurora St. Luke’s also often times receive the most challenging and higher-risk patients, making positive outcomes all the more difficult to achieve.


Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center has been a leader in heart health since the 1960s. The team of experts has pioneered a number of firsts, including:


  • A leader in Ventricular Assistant Devices (VAD)s installation in patients with Advanced Heart Failure, having installed more than 700 VADs since 1995.
  • The first atrial defibrillator implant in the U.S., the first catheter ablation in Wisconsin and the first Epicardial Catheter Ablation of AFib in America.
  • The first device implant in Wisconsin to prevent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • The first and only hospital in Wisconsin and one of only a few in the nation to offer a hybrid-ablation technique to treat patients with atrial fibrillation, which has proven to provide fewer bleeds, fewer strokes and fewer cases of heart failure following the procedure versus catheter ablation


About Aurora Health Care

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and more than 30,000 amazing Caregivers. As evidenced by more than 400 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account. 


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