Northwestern Memorial Hospital ranked best in USA for heart attack, stroke and heart failure survival


Northwestern Memorial Hospital has been ranked best in the USA for survival of patients suffering heart failure, and second for survival of patients with heart attack and stroke.

According to Medicare data from July 2012 through June 2015, the most recent data available, Northwestern Memorial Hospital was:

  • First in the country for the lowest heart failure mortality rate, with a rate of 6.6%. The national average is 12.2%.
  • Second in the nation for the lowest heart attack mortality rate, with a rate of 9.9%. The national average is 14.1%.
  • Second in the nation for the lowest stroke death rate, with a rate of 9.4%. The national rate of stroke death for patients is 14.9%.

All figures are for 30-day time periods for Medicare patients, the common standard for hospital quality data.

“We have worked hard to coordinate our specialised care starting in the emergency department and transitioning up to advanced support services for our sickest cardiovascular patients,” says James Flaherty, medical director of the coronary care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, who is also an associate professor of medicine-cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (both Chicago, USA). “Time is of the essence in treatment of heart attack and stroke, and coordinating care throughout the hospital with different physicians is helping our patients live longer, and fuller, lives.”

Richard Bernstein, medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, credited the high survival rates for the hospital’s stroke patients with coordinated team efforts across various parts of the hospital and broader health system.

“From the moment a stroke patient hits our system, they get the combined expertise of vascular neurology and neurosurgery, neurointerventional radiology, neurocritical care, as well as emergency medicine, all working together to accurately diagnose and treat the stroke,” says Bernstein, who is also a professor of neurology at Feinberg. “We care for the whole patient for the entirety of their illness, from onset to treatment, recovery and prevention. This ensures a uniform, state-of-the-art, individualised plan of care for every patient.”

For Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s heart failure program, Allen Anderson, medical director of the Center for Heart Failure, Chicago, USA, credited the survival rate in part to the creation of a specialised Bridge and Transition team.

“The care team visits patients throughout the hospital to identify those suffering from heart failure and treat them most effectively, whether they are in the early or most advanced stages of the disease,” said Anderson, who is also a professor of medicine-cardiology at Feinberg.

“At the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, we take a comprehensive look at every facet of heart disease to continuously improve our outcomes,” says Patrick McCarthy executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and the Heller-Sacks professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Feinberg. “Our physicians, nurses and staff are committed to highly personalised medicine incorporating the latest advances in research, and a team approach… We are exceptionally proud that these teams have been remarkably successful in treating such challenging and serious conditions.”

The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is part of the Northwestern Medicine health system, with multiple sites of care in Chicago and the region.