Heart Transplant

Quality Care that Makes a Difference

The Stanford Hospital Heart Transplant Program has established a comprehensive Quality and Clinical Effectiveness Program to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction after undergoing heart transplantation. We monitor hospital length of stay, re-hospitalization rates, acute rejection rates, patient satisfaction scores, and national quality data from the University HealthSystem Consortium to help us identify areas for improvement and to monitor the effectiveness of our quality improvement initiatives.

Understanding the Data

Many patients referred to Stanford Hospital & Clinics for heart transplantation are very sick and may have other medical conditions or heart failure complications that decrease their chances for survival after a heart transplant. The mortality Observed to Expected (O/E) ratio compares patients' actual mortality rates to their expected mortality rates--which take into account the severity of a patient's illness. An O/E ratio of 1.0 indicates that the observed mortality rate equaled the expected mortality rate based on patients' level of illness, while a lower O/E mortality ratio means that more patients survived than were expected due to the severity of their illness. The O/E mortality ratio among patients undergoing heart transplantation at Stanford has been declining steadily since 2009.

Heart Transplant Mortality Observed/Expected Index Comparison
Source: UHC
Comparison: 47 UHC members in UHC's Clinical Outcomes Report for Product Line of Heart Transplant or Implant of Heart Assist System

Extending Our Commitment to Quality

The Heart Transplant Quality Council is a multidisciplinary committee consisting of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, advanced practice nurses, nurse coordinators, patient care unit managers, social workers and other members of the heart transplant team who meet monthly to monitor and address quality data and patient adverse events, and to oversee the program's quality initiatives. Some of the quality initiatives being implemented by the Quality Council to improve survival and patient satisfaction after a heart transplant include:

Establishing a dedicated cell phone number for patients to reach the on-call heart transplant physician, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in case of medical emergencies.

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