Published: 05/08/2012

National Study Results: Community Hospitals Without Cardiac Surgery Can Safely Perform Interventional Heart Catheterization Procedures

5/8/12May 2, 2012 -- After a 9-month long national study, physician researchers at Johns Hopkins University have determined interventional heart catheterization procedures at hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery are just as safe and effective as those performed at hospitals with on-site cardiac surgery.
Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg, partnered with Geisinger Medical Center in August 2010 to take part in the Cardiovascular Patient Outcomes Research Team Elective Angioplasty Study (CPORT-E) led by Thomas Aversano, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Division of Cardiology. 

Evangelical Community Hospital was one of 60 hospitals in 10 states to participate in the CPORT-E study. Participating hospitals were required to perform a minimum of 200 procedures a year and develop a formal angioplasty program to prepare their staff and establish protocols and policies. Angioplasty is a procedure where a tiny balloon is inflated within a coronary artery to push away plaque that is causing a blockage in the vessel, sometimes leaving a stent or small mesh tube behind to hold the artery open
Since being approved to participate in the CPORT-E study, Evangelical has performed nearly 400 heart catheterizations, both emergent and non-emergent, with excellent outcomes. The Hospital’s excellent outcomes support the study findings that were released this spring in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting.
5/8/12/2“Evangelical constantly assesses the health needs of the community. Given that Cardiovascular Disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in this country, we identified the need to expand our services to include interventional heart catheterization procedures. To accomplish this, we worked with our partners at Geisinger to develop a high quality interventional cardiology program designed to meet the rigorous requirements for participation in CPORT-E. The study provided the only opportunity for a hospital in Pennsylvania without on-site heart surgery to provide these services,” said James Craven, Associate Vice President of Cardiovascular Services.
For patients, having services such as these at Evangelical Community Hospital means strong cardiac care without having to travel to another facility. “We have found that patients who get their routine care at Evangelical want to stay here for other less-routine procedures and surgeries,” said Craven. Diagnostic services, heart catheterizations, and cardiac rehabilitation can be done conveniently and effectively at a community-based hospital.
“The CPORT-E study findings pertaining to patient safety and effectiveness support and align with the Hospital’s strategic decision to construct a new surgical and cardiovascular expansion project,” said Craven.
Evangelical’s new addition includes a cardiovascular catheterization suite that has two procedure rooms, seven procedure care beds, echocardiography services, and a regionally renowned cardiac rehabilitation unit on the first level. The second floor hosts eight operating rooms that will be used for multiple surgical needs including cancer care, weight loss, minimally invasive surgery, orthopaedics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, urology, gynecological procedures, and ear, nose and throat surgeries, to name a few.  The new facility will open in early July with community open house events planned for late June.
Evangelical Community Hospital is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 127 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties, and has earned the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award for four consecutive years.