UI Hospitals and Clinics

News Article

Leaders in Heart Transplant Results

The University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center's heart transplant and heart assist implant program at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics last year achieved the lowest observed inpatient mortality ratio in the nation among its peers ranked by the University HealthSystems Consortium (UHC).

UI Heart and Vascular Center ranks first among UHC members participating in UHC's Clinical Data Base for Heart Transplant and Heart Assist System (VAD) outcomes. The UI Heart and Vascular Center program had the most favorable scores for risk-adjusted mortality performance for heart transplants and implants of heart assist devices for patients discharged between October 2010 and September 2011.

Of the 37 cases performed at the UI, there were no mortalities. Four other institutions also had no deaths in the past year, but UI Hospitals and Clinics secured the top spot because it had the largest number of cases.

"Use of the latest technology and steadfast commitment to patient care is a winning combination. At Iowa we have assembled a team of incredibly smart and dedicated professionals who believe that we can deliver the best care possible. I am proud of a report that shows this is true," says Frances Johnson, MD, a UI Heart and Vascular Center cardiologist and medical director of the Heart Transplant Program.

UHC is an alliance of 116 medical centers and 259 of their affiliated hospitals, representing more than 90 percent of the nation's non-profit academic medical centers.

"This is tremendous news for our patients. They can be confident that they are going to receive excellent care from one of the nation's leading programs," say Michael Bates, MD, surgical director, Heart Transplant. "Leading the nation in this category is a major achievement for any program."

The UHC report's findings add to a growing list of accomplishments for the UI Heart and Vascular Center that have received national recognition.

In October 2011, UI Heart and Vascular Center became the first program in the nation to receive certification for its cardiac valve program from The Joint Commission, the accreditation agency for health care organizations in the United States.

Also in 2011, the UI Heart and Vascular Center became the first center in Iowa to replace heart valves using a catheter-based technique and implanted the state's first total artificial heart.