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Heart Institute Attains STS Three-Star Rating

February 14, 2019

The Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh attained a Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) overall three-star rating for its congenital heart surgery program in the latest rankings that analyzed program data from participating health care systems for the four-year period from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017.

UPMC Children’s was one of 41 high volume centers out of the 129 reporting institutions during the latest reporting period. Only 12 programs in North America received a three star designation in the latest survey period, and this is the fourth consecutive reporting period in which UPMC Children’s has received the three-star designation.

UPMC Children’s overall non-risk adjusted mortality rate of 1.9 percent was lower than all but six of the 41 high volume centers, with the overall mortality rate for the 129 STSinstitutions being 2.94 percent.

With respect to the observed-to-expected mortality ratio, the UPMC Children’s program’s overall ratio was 0.56, with an adjusted mortality rate of 1.6 percent.

In the highest risk congenital heart disease neonatal surgical cases, UPMC Children’s mortality rate was five percent compared to the national average of 16.1 percent. The UPMC Children’s program specializes in treating the highest-risk cases. In the last three years, the program has experienced no mortalities in any of its Norwood procedure cases.

In heart transplant outcomes, UPMC Children’s ranks first in the United States with a 100 percent three-year pediatric graft and patient survival rate.

“The STS rating our cardiothoracic surgery program has achieved is a real tribute to the leadership of Victor Morell and the entire UPMC Children’s team,” says Vivek Allada, MD, executive director of the Heart Institute.

For complete ratings details and methodology, visit the STS website at