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Independent National Study Ranks Grand Strand Regional Medical Center #1 in South Carolina for Cardiac Surgery

November 23, 2009

Myrtle Beach, SC - Grand Strand Regional Medical Center is ranked #1 in South Carolina out of 16 programs for cardiac surgery according to a new study released by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare quality company. In addition, the hospital’s cardiac surgery program is in the Top 5% of hospital programs in the nation and is the recipient of the HealthGrades Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award in 2010.

The #1 ranking cardiac surgery designation includes coronary artery bypass and valve replacement procedures.  The hospital is ranked #3 in South Carolina for overall cardiac services, which includes coronary bypass surgery; valve replacement surgery; cardiac interventions (angioplasty and stents); heart failure and heart attack.

The Grand Strand Regional cardiac surgery program started in 1995and is the only cardiac surgery program in Horry and Georgetown Counties.  Two cardiac surgeons perform close to 400 surgeries annually. In addition, the hospital has 12 cardiologists and two cardiac anesthesiologists on staff. 

Specifically, Grand Strand Regional received five-star (highest-possible) ratings for cardiac surgery and coronary bypass surgery.  The HealthGrades ratings measure whether patient outcomes for procedures and diagnoses are better than expected (5-Star); as expected (3-Star); or worse than expected (1-Star). Only 15 percent of hospitals in the nation fall into the 5-star category.

According to HealthGrades, patients have on average a 70 percent lower chance of dying at the nation’s top-rated hospitals compared with the lowest-rated hospitals across 17 procedures and conditions analyzed by HealthGrades. 

“We are very pleased and proud to be recognized with these outstanding HealthGrades quality ratings, which validate our commitment to clinical excellence,” said Doug White, CEO.  “Top ratings from an independent, objective national source demonstrate the quality care that our physicians, nurses and staff deliver to the patients and families in our community every day.”

“Saving and improving the lives of residents and visitors in this community is our top priority,” added White.  “We are not only achieving this but performing in elite company nationwide.”

HealthGrades independently analyzed nearly 5,000 hospitals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for its 2010 ratings, objectively assessing their clinical outcomes and quality. 

While overall death rates declined from 2005 – 2007, the nation’s best-performing hospital were able to reduce their death rates at a much faster rate than poorly performing hospitals, the study found. 

“HealthGrades objectively assesses and rates hospital performance in order to help consumers make better and more informed healthcare choices,” explained Samantha Collier, MD, HealthGrades’ chief medical officer and a study author. “With consumers having a greater stake in their healthcare purchasing decisions, it’s important for them to know that there is a tremendous difference in clinical quality outcomes between hospitals. It is imperative that anyone seeking medical care at a hospital do their homework and know the hospital’s quality ratings before they are admitted.”

The 2010 HealthGrades ratings for all hospitals nationwide are available, free of charge, on the web at www.healthgrades.com