Understanding Procedure Volume and Outcomes Data
If your child needs heart surgery, it is important to evaluate how many times their required procedure is performed at a hospital (this is referred to as "volume") and to compare statistics on patient outcomes achieved by the hospital's program with other programs' statistics.
- Volume data is important because studies show that patients experience better outcomes at hospitals where surgeons perform more procedures. This is because doctors have more experience with these procedures and are more adept at choosing the right patient for the right procedure.
- Outcomes data shows whether the procedure was successful, how well a patient recovered, and if they have a positive quality of life. This is highly individualized to the type of procedure and the complexity associated with the patient's condition.
Having a basic understanding of volume and outcomes data can help you make an informed decision about where to go for your child's care. We've made that easier for you by providing the publicly reported data and internal data that we collect.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Public Database
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure patients receive the highest quality care. The organization maintains several public databases and reports. The report on congenital heart defect procedures is titled Congenital Heart Surgery Public Reporting.
Data for this report includes more than 600,000 congenital heart procedures and is collected from hospitals with congenital heart programs in the U.S. and Canada. The procedures are categorized in categories called "STATs" from 1 to 5 by the difficulty, or complexity, of the procedure.
The simplest procedures to perform are categorized as STAT 1. The most difficult procedures are STAT 5.
The chart below shows the number of heart surgeries by STAT level performed at Duke from 2018 through 2021. It includes total procedures as well as procedures for newborns (0 to 31 days old). Select the buttons to toggle between data for all patients and newborns only.
Heart Procedures by STAT Category 2018-2022
Select the patient group:
Source: STS Database, Table 16, July 2018 - June 2022
Duke pediatric heart surgeons perform significantly more STAT 4 and 5 procedures than many other centers nationally. Studies show that hospital surgical teams with more experience are likely to have better patient outcomes.
Congenital Heart Defect Procedure Survival Rates
Survival rates indicate the percentage of pediatric patients who underwent a congenital heart defect (CHD) operation and survived their hospitalization and survived for at least 30 days following their operation. The national average is based on data from the Society for Thoracic Surgeons and can be used to compare each hospital program's outcomes for procedures in each STAT category.
A higher number indicates better survival than the national average.
Duke's program is one of the nation's few performing above expected when compared to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons' national average.
Our pediatric patients consistently do better following complicated procedures than the national average.
Survival Rate by STAT Category, Duke vs US (%)
Sources: STS Database, Table 16, July 2018 - June 2022
Duke CHD Procedure Survival Rates
Duke CHD Survival Rates Compared to National Average (%)
Sources: STS Database, Table 18, July 2018 - June 2022
Duke Pediatric Heart Transplant Survival Rates
Statistics about pediatric heart transplants are collected by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) and the Organ Procurement Transplantation Network. You can view each hospital's data for pediatric and adult patients, including time on transplant waitlists, the number of transplants performed, and patient survival in the years following their transplant. View Duke University Hospital's heart transplant data.
The SRTR also provides national averages against which hospitals can measure their transplant outcomes.
Pediatric Heart Transplantation Survival at 3 Years,
Duke vs U.S.
Shorter Wait Times at Duke Compared with Other U.S. Centers
Patients on Duke’s waitlist receive a heart faster than the national average.
Median Days to Transplant, Duke vs Region vs U.S.
January 2023. Region includes Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.