Fort Walton Beach, Florida – Fort Walton Beach Medical Center has again achieved a 3-star rating for Coronary Artery Bypass surgery. This is the highest category of quality awarded by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for this procedure. In 2017, only 10-15 % of hospitals in the nation received the “3 star” rating.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons developed a comprehensive rating system for the quality of Coronary Artery Bypass surgery among hospitals across the country. In the current analysis of national data covering the period from January 2017 through December 2017, the Coronary Artery Bypass surgery performance at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center occupies a position in this highest quality tier, thereby receiving a STS 3 - star rating. “The hard work and dedication of Dr. Sandwith, and the members of Fort Walton’s Beach Medical Centers Cardiac Team have demonstrated their commitment to the program and our community by achieving this goal”, stated Mitch Mongell, CEO of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) is a national database of heart surgery operations. It is now called the STS National Database. The chief purpose of the Database is the collection and analysis of Cardiac surgery data from across the country. This information has provided meaningful information that can be used to compare performance with similar programs and national benchmarks.

Participation in the Database has grown over the years, and today there are 3,700 cardiac surgery practices participating in the Database, representing more than 90 percent of all adult cardiac surgery centers across the country.

What do the star ratings mean?

For each of the four measures, STS compares a group's performance with the average performance of all the groups in the database. For survival and complications, the results are adjusted for the overall health of a group's patients, since some surgical groups treat older or sicker patients than others. The overall heart bypass rating combines the scores from those four measures. For each individual performance measure, as well as the overall rating, groups that score significantly above average get three stars, average performers get two stars, and those that score significantly below average get one star.