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Children’s Heart Center Surgical Outcomes

Three Star Program • 3 out of 3 Stars – Highest Rating Available


The Children’s Heart Center1 at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital earned the three-star rating, the highest possible distinction, from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its patient care and outcomes in congenital heart surgery. As one of only 10 three-star programs of the STS’s 118 participating programs, the Children’s Heart Center ranks among the elite in the United States and Canada for congenital heart surgery.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is recognized as one of the top 50 best children's hospitals nationally in Cardiology & Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s Heart Center, in collaboration with pediatric sub-specialists at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, provides comprehensive care for newborns and children, with the ability to transition into adult congenital cardiac care.

At the Children’s Heart Center, we strive to be transparent and provide up-to-date information on our patient outcomes. Our hope is that the data below serves as a helpful resource when making informed decisions regarding care.

For more information or to speak with a clinician at the Children’s Heart Center, call (713) 500-5746.

Children’s Heart Center Surgical Outcomes

Each year, participating centers submit their data to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD), to compare their outcomes against STS national benchmarks. Below is an overview of the Children’s Heart Center’s surgical outcomes data from January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2018.

To view Children’s Heart Center’s STS report, click here. Learn more about the STS star rating.

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What does risk adjustment mean?

The STS uses a mortality risk model to allow for more meaningful comparison of any given hospital to the total of all hospitals performing pediatric and congenital heart surgery and participating in the CHSD. Risk adjustment is a method of measuring surgical results that takes into account how sick patients were before treatment. Hospitals that treat medically complex patients are expected to have higher rates of mortality according to the STS, which may be due to the patient’s condition or the procedural complexity required to treat them. The CHSD mortality risk model accounts for specific variables such as age and preoperative factors when comparing Centers, all of which can affect surgical results.

Children’s Heart Center Surgical Volume

January 2015 - December 2018

*Note: All cases reported, not just index cases. Source: Internal Data and STS Database, Table 1

STAT Category

The STS classifies cardiac cases into five categories, 1 – 5, based on complexity of the procedure. Category 1 is the least complex and Category 5 is the most complex with the highest risk of mortality (death). The affiliated team of board-certified pediatric and congenital heart surgeons treats the full spectrum of pediatric and congenital heart conditions, from the simplest to the most complex.

Volume by STAT Category

*Source: STS Database, Table 1

Volume and Mortality Rate by STAT Category

The STS mortality metrics are risk-adjusted to allow for more level comparison of any given hospital participating in the database with factors such as acuity, complexity and comorbidities taken into account.

MORTALITY BY STAT CATEGORY (January 2015 - December 2018)
STAT CategoryNumber of ProceduresNumber of Mortalities% MortalitySTS National Benchmark
Category 122120.9%0.4%
Category 225841.6%1.5%
Category 310400.0%2.1%
Category 4215136.0%6.3%
Category 559610.2%14.0%
Source: STS Database, Table 1

Index Procedure Volume and Mortality Rate

The data below shows the Children’s Heart Center’s heart surgery volume and mortality rate by procedure type. The Children’s Heart Center is dedicated to pioneering innovative solutions that offer patients with even the most complex problems the greatest opportunity for a normal life. Overall, the Children’s Heart Center’s unadjusted mortality rate is 2.9% – over 40% better than the expected mortality rate the STS designated for our program due to the high complexity of patient cases (4.8% expected mortality rate).

INDEX PROCEDURE VOLUME AND MORTALITY RATE (January 2015 - December 2018)
Index ProcedureNumber of ProceduresNumber of MortalitiesCMHH % MortalitySTS National Benchmark
Arterial switch operation (ASO)1800.0%2.1%
ASO + VSD Repair1100.0%5.1%
Atrioventricular canal repair (AVC)2900.0%2.1%
Coarctation3313.3%1.2%
Fontan4900.0%1.0%
Glenn / HemiFontan6800.0%2.0%
Norwood38410.5%14.5%
Truncus Arteriosus Repair600.0%9.0%
Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Repair6500.0%0.5%
Tetrology of Fallot6134.9%2.1%
*Note: Operative Mortality is defined as any death, regardless of cause occurring (1) within 30 days after surgery in or out of the hospital, and (2) after 30 days during the same hospitalization subsequent to the operation. Source: STS Database, Table 18

Volume by Age Group

The Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital specializes in the treatment of heart conditions for children of all ages, caring for a large population of high-risk neonates and infants, making up more than 83% of the operations performed from January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2018. The affiliated team’s focus on age-appropriate surgical planning and management ensures the best possible outcomes for patients of all ages.

Children's Heart Center Volume by Age Group
January 2015 - December 2018

STAT Category Percent by Patient Age Group

January 2015 – December 2018

STAT Category 1: Percent by Age Group

STAT Category 2: Percent by Age Group

STAT Category 3: Percent by Age Group

STAT Category 4: Percent by Age Group

STAT Category 5: Percent by Age Group

Published November 2019

We encourage you to reach out to other healthcare centers to request and review their outcomes data in order to utilize the information available when choosing your healthcare options. For more information about our data, call (713) 500-5746.

Contact Us

Pediatric Cardiology Clinic
The University of Texas Health Science Center Professional Building
6410 Fannin, Suite 370
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (713) 486-6755

Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Clinic
The University of Texas Health Science Center Professional Building
6410 Fannin, Suite 370
Houston, TX 77030

Nurse Line: (713) 500-7324
Clinic Phone: (832) 325-7234
CMHH-Heart@memorialhermann.org

1The Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is affiliated with the physicians at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and the UT Physicians Pediatric Outpatient Clinics across Greater Houston. Affiliated physicians evaluate patients at UT Physicians clinic locations and perform all inpatient procedures and treatments at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.