South Florida Hospital News
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February 2013 - Volume 9 - Issue 8

The Heart Program at Miami Children’s Hospital: When You Want the Best for a Child with Heart Defects

The Heart Program at Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) is a regional leader in providing care for children and adults with congenital heart disease. The program provides treatment for more patients annually than any other in Florida – and with results that are among the best in the nation.
Outcomes Tell the Story
The service line is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s top pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery centers. In the 2012-2013 U.S. News ranking, The Heart Program at Miami Children’s had the second best survival after surgery rate of any program in the nation. And it was ranked fifth best related to discharge mortality among high-volume institutions in the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database (2008 to 2011).
In addition to acclaimed cardiovascular surgery results, outcomes for MCH interventional catheterization procedures exceed national averages. The hospital maintains a procedural mortality of 0 percent for interventional catheterization cases, compared to an 8 to 12 percent among similar programs nationally. Procedural complications occur in just 2 percent of cases at MCH, compared to 8 to 12 percent nationally.
Comprehensive Team Collaboration
An 18-member physician team comprised of pediatric cardiovascular surgeons, pediatric cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, fetal echocardiography physicians, pediatric electrophysiologists, pediatric care intensivists and pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists is dedicated to collaborating to ensure optimal careas well as dedicated cardiac advanced registered nurse practitioners in all cardiac areas to support patients, families and medical staff. This comprehensive team of pediatric heart specialists is supported by a full array of geographic pediatric subspecialists. Virtually every pediatric subspecialty is represented on the Miami Children’s Hospital campus, with experts available around-the-clock to consult in the care of patients with complex care needs.
A Shared Philosophy and Commitment
“The program team shares a philosophy and commitment to minimizing the cumulative therapeutic trauma for each patient,” said Redmond P. Burke, M.D., Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Heart Program. “We meet as a team four times per week to coordinate care and review performance. And for each congenital defect, we work collaboratively to select the least traumatic therapy that will provide the best outcome.”
Region’s First CICU
An essential component of The Heart Program is the dedicated pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), which recently achieved a Silver Beacon Award from the American Association of Colleges of Nurses. This award recognizes critical care units for their commitment to care excellence and quality improvement.
The MCH CICU was the first dedicated pediatric cardiac intensive care unit in the Southeast and has been a leader in point-of-care lab testing, enabling teams to respond with optimal speed to changes in individual patients, enhancing outcomes.
LifeWings Transport for Patients Near and Far
As it receives referrals from across town and across the world, The Heart Program is supported by Miami Children’s Hospital’s LifeFlight Critical Care Transport Program. This CAMTS-accredited program includes specially equipped and staffed ambulances, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft capable of transporting children and newborns to The Heart Program from anywhere in the world. The Heart Program is the only team in Florida capable of emergently transporting a fully equipped cardiac surgery team anywhere in the country, placing a patient on heart-lung bypass, and transporting the child back to the hospital for complex care.

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