Left: James Benner, MD, Medical Director, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon
Right: Charles Roberts, MD, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon

Earns Highest National Recognition for Overall Quality

Charleston, SC - Trident Medical Center has earned the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ (STS) highest ranking for patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures. The designation, which denotes the highest category of quality, places Trident Medical Center among the Top 15% of similar programs in the United States and Canada.

“For open heart surgery patients in the Lowcountry and beyond the rating means the care they receive at Trident Medical Center is among the best in the nation and Canada,” explained cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon James Benner, MD of Palmetto Cardiovascular and Thoracic Associates and the medical director of the Trident Medical Center Cardiovascular Surgery program. “The recognition is truly an indication of exceptional team work and the team’s consistent attention to detail in every case.” Dr. Benner is joined at the practice by cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Charles Roberts, MD. Together, their work was the foundation for the STS survey of Trident’s open heart surgery program.

“The ones who really benefit from the recognition are our patients,” explained Dr. Roberts. “To provide this level of care requires our team to consistently manage every detail that leads to a good outcome.”

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada. The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.

Historically, approximately 10%–15% of participants receive the STS highest ranking for isolated CABG surgery. The latest analysis of data for CABG surgery at Trident Medical Center covers 163 procedures performed in 2016.

Trident Health Chief Medical Officer Kevin Shea, MD noted that, “Optimizing care for patients undergoing open heart surgery requires a dedicated and well-coordinated healthcare team. We are very proud of our surgeons, anesthesiologists, medical specialists and all our exceptional peri-operative and OR staff who have worked so hard to deliver quality care to every patient, every time.”

“The Society of Thoracic Surgeons congratulates Trident Medical Center and all other STS National Database participants who have received three-star ratings,” said David M. Shahian, MD, Chair of the STS Council on Quality, Research, and Patient Safety. “Participation in the Database and public reporting demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement in health care delivery and helps provide patients and their families with meaningful information to help them make informed decisions about health care.”

The STS rating is just the latest advancement in Trident Medical Center’s cardiovascular program. Within the past six months the hospital also added the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure for select patients with aortic stenosis and the WATCHMAN implant device for select patients with atrial fibrillation.

The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The Database includes three components: the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD), the Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD), and the General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD). The STS ACSD houses more than 6.1 million surgical records and gathers information from more than 3,700 participating physicians, including surgeons and anesthesiologists from more than 90% of groups that perform heart surgery in the US. STS public reporting online enables STS ACSD participants to voluntarily report to each other and the public their heart surgery scores and star ratings.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) is a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 7,200 surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.