NHRMC named Cardiac Center of Excellence

June 05, 2006
Recognizing the medical center’s continuing quality in cardiac services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has just named New Hanover Regional Medical Center a Cardiac Center of Excellence.

NHRMC joins the ranks of 16 other leading medical facilities in the state that have earned this distinction, including Duke University, UNC Hospitals and N.C. Baptist Hospital, and is one of only two cardiac centers of excellence east of Interstate 40.

“This designation reflects the skills of our highly trained staff and physicians and illustrates the high quality of the cardiology services we’re providing to Southeastern North Carolina,” said John Gizdic, NHRMC’s vice president of business development.

The “center of excellence” designation is reserved for full-service, fully accredited medical centers that perform a high volume of cardiac procedures each year. All facilities to earn this perform at least 100 open-heart surgeries each year and have a proven track record of delivering favorable outcomes. It is based on nationally recognized criteria for experience and quality developed by a physician panel in conjunction with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Blue Centers for Cardiac Care program.

“It’s no secret that the more you do something, the better you get at it,” said Bob Greczyn, president and CEO of BCBSNC in a prepared statement. “When it comes to heart surgery, there is ample evidence that institutions with experience deliver better outcomes.”

NHRMC’s vice president of medical affairs, Dr. Samuel Spicer, said this criteria includes treatment and outcomes for the thousands of heart attack, heart failure and coronary bypass patients care for by the medical center each year.

“It reflects a lot of the hard work and training of the group of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons we have in this community,” he said, and coincides nicely with the medical center’s efforts to add two electrophysiology labs and consolidate all cardiac services into one area with a dedicated entrance for patients as part of the ongoing construction at NHRMC.

“We’re proud to be included in the Centers of Excellence based on our outcomes and measures,” Spicer said. “We know there is more work to do, but this indicates that a higher quality of care is being provided at New Hanover Regional, not just for Blue Cross Blue Shield patients, but for all patients of Southeastern North Carolina.”