Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC a Leader in Heart Surgery Outcomes, New Report Shows

June 14, 2017

The Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is a statewide leader in pediatric heart surgery outcomes, according to the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery Report, released today from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4).

The report shows hospital-specific volume and in-hospital mortality results for six hospitals—five in Pennsylvania and one in Delaware—that volunteered to have their data publicly reported and provided to PHC4 by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Covering the four-year period 2012-2015, the data on 10 widely performed heart surgeries is provided to help patients and families make important treatment decisions.

Children’s Hospital performed 1,813 cardiac surgical procedures during this period with outcomes that surpassed both state and national averages. Nationally, Children’s Hospital exceeded survival rates for the Norwood procedure, the benchmark operation used to correct hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The report also shows Children’s had a 4.7 percent mortality rate, the lowest in the state, for neonatal heart surgery, and tied for lowest mortality rate in eight of the 10 procedures.

“It’s significant that Children’s Hospital and the other pediatric hospitals volunteered to participate in this analysis. By publicly reporting our data, we’re all committing to transparency and accountability, which will lead to improved outcomes for kids with congenital heart disease,” said Victor Morell, M.D., co-director of the Heart Institute at Children's and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery. “Parents and guardians of these patients are increasingly seeking out institutions with the best outcomes and, through public reporting, we hope to give them access to that information, enabling them to make informed choices for their children.”

The 10 procedures covered in the report are coarctation of the aorta repair, arterial switch operation, ventricular septal defect repair, arterial switch operation and ventricular septal defect repair, Norwood procedure, Glenn/hemi-Fontan, Fontan, truncus repair, complete atrioventricular canal repair, and Tetralogy of Fallot repair.

Other hospitals covered in the report are Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Geisinger Medical Center Children’s Hospital, Penn State Children’s Hospital, and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

Also indicative of its quality outcomes, Children's pediatric cardiovascular surgery program had one of the lowest overall four-year surgical mortality rates among all high-volume programs with a rate of 2 percent and was awarded a 3-Star rating by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (2012-2016). Nationally, the average mortality rate for all pediatric cardiovascular programs was 3.1 percent during the same reporting period.

Children's also has a partnership with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa, Florida, to support its team with pediatric cardiothoracic services. Surgeons from the Heart Institute provide highly specialized cardiovascular care for their patients.

For more information about the cardiothoracic surgery program at the Heart Institute at Children’s, please visit