Society of Thoracic Surgeons Awards Trident Medical Center Its Highest Ranking

Charleston, SC (July 19, 2021) – Trident Medical Center’s open heart program has earned the highest rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures for 2020.  The rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places Trident Medical Center among the Top 10% of participating hospitals in the U.S. and Canada for CABG outcomes.  Surgeons James Benner, MD and Karen Gersch, MD, FACS, FACC with Palmetto Cardiovascular and Thoracic Associates Trident Health led Trident’s team that earned the recognition.

“For open heart surgery patients in the Lowcountry and beyond who need a CABG procedure the rating means the care they receive at Trident Medical Center is among the best of the best,“ explained cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon James Benner, MD.  About 500,000 CABG procedures are done in the U.S. each year.  It’s one of the most common major surgeries and performed to treat coronary artery disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Karen Gersch added, “The recognition is truly an indication of exceptional team work and the team’s consistent attention to detail in every case.  The review conducted by the STS is very thorough.  Dr. Benner and I are the lead surgeons, but there’s a large group of other physicians and clinicians, that include anesthesiologists, intensivists, respiratory therapists, nurses, physicians assistants and others who share in this success.”

 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.

 “The Society of Thoracic Surgeons congratulates STS National Database participants who have received three-star ratings (the highest awarded by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons),” said David M. Shahian, MD, chair of the Task Force on Quality Measurement. “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 National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The Database includes four components: the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD), the Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD), the General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD), and the mechanical circulatory support database (Intermacs).

The STS ACSD houses approximately 6.9 million surgical records and gathers information from more than 3,800 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.