Firelands heart unit top-ranked

Thomson Healthcare study ranks local cardiac-care unit among top 100 in the nation SANDUSKY They've got heart.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010


Thomson Healthcare study ranks local cardiac-care unit among top 100 in the nation


They've got heart.

Firelands Regional Medical Center is one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation for cardiac services, according to a recently released study by Thomson Healthcare.

The study looked at 1,000 hospitals nationwide and analyzed their outcomes for eight measures related to congestive heart failure, heart attacks, coronary artery bypass grafts and percutaneous coronary interventions, such as angioplasties. Firelands was one of seven hospitals in the state to receive the designation.

"Most people aren't prepared to be sick. They don't know where to go, or who to trust," said Dr. Patrick McGuinn, medical director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Firelands. "The greatest value (to the study) is a sense of comfort in the difficult choices (patients) have to make... If nothing else, it reassures people of the quality of care."

This is the first year Firelands has received this "Top 100" distinction for cardiac care.

"I think it's a major landmark (event) for Sandusky," said Dr. Anthony DeRiso II, director of cardiac surgery for the Firelands Heart Institute.

For a hospital its size to have such good outcomes for many high-risk procedures is a remarkable thing, he said.

Cardiac services account for about 35 percent of inpatient acute business at Firelands, said spokeswoman Connie Lamb. The hospital has provided cardiac care services since 1990.

"We've been using this data for years to improve our results," said Tina Ammanniti, director of the cardiac cath lab and non-invasive diagnostic cardiac services.

Outcomes matter to patients, but also to insurance companies and the government.

"Payers want measurable evidence of high-quality performance," McGuinn said.

Other Ohio hospitals listed among the top 100 in the nation for cardiac care are the Cleveland Clinic, Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Parma Community General Hospital, Lake Hospital System in Painesville, and the Southwest General Health Center in Middleburg Heights.