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April 15, 2013

Elmhurst Hospital Center Best in Queens and One of the Safest Hospitals in New York State for Cardiac Interventions


Elmhurst Hospital Center, part of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), leads all Queens hospitals with the best overall safety rating for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a procedure commonly referred to as angioplasty, where a physician inserts a catheter device to clear obstructed or blocked arteries in the heart, according to the latest report by the New York State Department of Health.

The latest data, which covers patients discharged from 2008 to 2010, shows that Elmhurst Hospital Center treated 1054 PCI patients during that period and for those cases had a risk adjusted mortality rate (RAMR) about half of other Queens hospitals that perform the same procedure. It also performed better than most Manhattan hospitals.

The State DOH report tracks mortality rates for each of the 59 cardiac labs that perform PCI in New York in three categories: an overall category of “all” cases, which it then breaks down into separate categories of “emergency” and “non-emergency” cases. For the entire state, Elmhurst was ranked 6th overall in RAMR in the categories of “all” cases and “emergency” cases, and 13th overall in the category of “non-emergency” cases.

“This is an example of the type of effective treatment that public hospital systems can deliver within a local community,” said Alan D. Aviles, President of HHC. “I applaud the physicians and staff who worked so hard to bring this quality care right to the doorstep of Queens residents.”

Chris Constantino, Elmhurst Hospital’s Executive Director, said, "Elmhurst Hospital Center takes pride in providing this excellent quality of care to the residents of Queens.”

Dr. Mazullah Kamran, Director of the Elmhurst Cardiac Catheterization Lab, noted that Elmhurst also specializes in a kind of PCI that results in greater comfort for the patient and fewer complications. By inserting catheters through the radial artery in the wrist instead of the femoral artery in the groin patients experience less bleeding and discomfort at the entry site and have quicker recoveries. Around 80 percent of PCI procedures performed at Elmhurst use the radial artery.

“Few cardiac centers in the U.S. use the radial artery, but about half the procedures in Europe are done that way,” said Dr. Kamran. “It requires a real commitment by physicians and staff to learn new methods but the results are worth it. Patients that experience a radial procedure typically are very pleased and become reluctant to do it any other way.”

The State DOH report can be found here.

PCI is a minimally invasive technique whereby a catheter is inserted into an artery and then guided by a physician to a blocked artery in the heart. The blockage is removed and sometimes a stent is placed to maintain the open blood vessel, often obviating the need for open heart surgery. Patient condition and the severity of the blockage can vary widely in PCI, so the State DOH uses statistical adjustment techniques to take the varying levels of risk into account when determining PCI performance.


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HHC 2014 Stats

  • Staffed Beds: 6,684
  • Clinic Visits: 4,472,960
  • ER Visits: 1,179,436
  • Discharges: 205,791
  • Births: 18,564
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