We know what makes little tickers tick
At Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, our cardiovascular program is one of the largest in the region. We offer the newest techniques for treating kids' cardiovascular and blood vessel conditions plus a megadose of heart in all we do.
U.S. News & World Report ranked us as one of the best children's hospitals in the nation for cardiovascular care. We provide a full range of services, from imaging tests to pioneering surgeries, for babies, children, teens and adults born with heart defects. The cardiovascular specialists at Children's are among the most experienced around. And our outcomes are some of the best in the country.
The numbers tell part of the story
There's a lot happening in the cardiovascular program at Children's, but here are a few key facts that sum up the program in a heartbeat:
The smiles tell the rest of the tale
Children's is well known for its caring, compassionate staff. We're focused on children—it's in our name! And we know that parents need support, too.
If your child ever has to stay in the hospital, you'll appreciate our team rounds. All the physicians, nurses and other professionals involved in your child's care hold a meeting each day—and you're invited. This gives you a chance to be at part of the discussion about your child's care plan.
The cardiovascular care center on our Minneapolis campus is designed to be a home away from home. We know you want to be there for your child every step of the way. Amenities such as sleeper sofas, work spaces, storage closets, refrigerators and a family lounge make that much easier.
Want to see for yourself? Take a virtual tour of the cardiovascular care center.
At Children's, we speak your language
The cardiovascular professionals at Children's work with kids and families all day, every day. We're fluent in kid-speak. And we're very comfortable talking with parents, too.
The doctors and staff keep you fully informed about each step in your child's care journey. We'll explain technical terms and review treatment options. We try to anticipate your concerns as much as we can. But if you need more information or have any questions, just ask. That's what we're here for.
Looking for information on a specific subject? We offer family-friendly information sheets on a wide range of cardiovascular topics. Learn more »
At Children's, our goal is to provide the best possible cardiovascular care in the most comforting way we can. That's terrific for the health of your child's heart. And it sets your own heart at ease, too.
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota collaborates with a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and more to provide expert care to kids. See profiles for the all-star doctors and nures practitioners in the cardiovascular program.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CARDIOVASCULAR PROGRAM
When you are making a decision about where to bring your child for care, you want all the information you can get. You want to know how good a hospital is at treating the specific condition your child is facing. You also want to know how a hospital ranks in terms of keeping your child safe and healthy during his or her stay. These measurements are referred to as “outcomes.”
This page lays out information to help you compare Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota with similar hospitals locally and across the country. The categories here represent “quality measures” outlined by the Institute of Medicine. These categories are seen as a good way to compare facilities. - See all hospital outcomes here.
Delivering next-generation care requires a multidisciplinary team. Children’s pediatric cardiovascular team has extensive experience and specialized training in the unique heart problems of infants, children, adolescents, and long-term adult patients with pediatric heart conditions. The Children’s team includes 11 board-certified pediatric cardiologists, two pediatric cardiovascular surgeons, and highly-skilled pediatric cardiac nurses who are certified in the appropriate advanced competencies and skills. Other team members include caregivers from specialized services such as pediatric critical care, neonatology, extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), pediatric anesthesia, pediatric nursing, laboratory, respiratory therapy, social work, child life, and care management.
During your visit, you may meet some of the following team members:
Cardiovascular program leaders
- Medical director, Children’s pediatric cardiology program: Charles M. Baker, MD
- Chief, critical care division: Gregory Wright, MD, FACC, FAAP
- Clinical services director, critical care division: Pam VanHazinga, BSN, MBA, RN
- Charles M. Baker, MD, FACC, FAAP
- David A. Burton, MD
- Chris Carter, MD
- Kirsten B. Dummer, MD
- David B. Gremmels, MD
- B. Kelly Gleason Han, MD
- Rodrigo Rios, MD
- Thomas M. Sutton, MD, FACC, FAAP
- Gregory B. Wright, MD, FACC, FAAP
Pediatric cardiovascular surgeons
ECMO consulting physicians
Other teams involved with the cardiovascular program
- Cardiac catheterization lab team
- Care management specialists
- Child life specialists
- Echocardiography team
- Experienced pediatric nurses
- Occupational therapists
- Pediatric anesthesiologists
- Pediatric critical care specialists
- Pediatric pain specialists
- Pediatric respiratory care practitioners
- Physical therapists
- Social workers
These six areas for measuring quality of care were developed by the Institute of Medicine and are widely used by health care organizations. If you have a question about Children's data, we encourage you to speak to your physician. We are happy to talk to you about program outcomes and the prognosis for your child.
Interpretation: Children's average Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) rate was higher than the national average reported for other pediatric cardiovascular units recently. A focused response is being conducted in this unit to address the increase and drive improvement. Our ultimate goal is to have zero CLABSIs.
What are we doing to improve: Children's has implemented central line "bundles" which are a set of best practices used to prevent infections when inserting and maintaining lines. We monitor adherence to the bundles and provide ongoing education to staff.
Data source: Children's Infection Prevention and Control Surveillance Data
Benchmark data: "National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Report, Data Summary for 2009, Device-associated Module". Published by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (Am J Infect Control 2009;37:783-805)
This measure still in process.
Interpretation: The length-of-stay ratio compares how long a patient stays in the hospital (actual) to how long they are predicted to stay given the severity of their illness. A ratio of < 1.0 means a patient’s stay was less than expected. Children's performs better than its peers.
What we are doing to improve: Improved discharge planning is the focus of an ongoing quality improvement project.
Data source: Pediatric Health Information System database sponsored by Child Health Corporation of America.
Benchmark data: Average of 43 other children's hospitals. The other children's hospitals ratio can be greater than 1.0 because the expected length of stay comes from a larger, national database.
Interpretation: Hospital mortality is the percentage of patients who died during their hospitalization for heart surgery (excluding PDA ligations on patients weighing less than 2500 grams). This rate is not adjusted for severity of illness. Children’s mortality rate compares favorably to the national average.
What are we doing to improve: We conduct a monthly review of surgical cases to discuss ways to improve patient outcomes. Children’s opened a new Cardiovascular Care Center in April 2010. This consolidates all care for heart patients to one floor. We have implemented a new model of care staffing the unit 24/7 with in-house cardiac intensive care physicians. Standardized treatment protocols have also been developed to improve patient care.
Data source: Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database - http://www.sts.org/, Table 5 from Spring Harvest 2011.
Benchmark data: 96 hospitals (85 in US, 1 in Canada).
Interpretation: Hospital mortality is the percentage of patients who died during their hospitalization for heart surgery (excluding PDA ligations on patients weighing less than 2500 grams). High-volume hospitals do more than 250 cardiac surgeries per year and have a more reliable estimate of performance than low volume centers where numbers are subject to random variation. These are the most complex and highest risk patients.
Children’s has one of the best survival to discharge rates for high-risk* heart surgeries when compared to high-volume hospitals. Our hospital had 1 deaths out of 59 patients.
*These surgeries are classified by RACHS-1 (Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery). RACHS-1 has levels 1-6 in order of increasing complexity and risk. High-risk surgeries include RACHS-1 levels 5-6: Norwood procedure or Damus-Kaye-Stansel procedure for single ventricle palliation, and repair of Ebstein’s anomaly in patients less than 30 days old.
What are we doing to improve: We conduct a monthly review of surgical cases to discuss ways to improve patient outcomes. Children’s has developed a home monitoring program for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which has been shown to improve survival to their next operation. Children’s Neurodevelopmental Clinic has also developed a follow-up program for patients with congenital heart disease to evaluate and improve long-term outcomes.
Data source: Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database - http://www.sts.org/, Table 7 from Spring Harvest 2011.
Benchmark data: 42 hospitals.
Willing to recommend
Interpretation: Most families would definitely recommend Children's to a friend or family member for care. Seven percent of families said they would not recommend Children's in the latest time period. We are currently above our goal of 90%.
What are we doing to improve: We use feedback from our Family Advisory Council and family surveys to improve family experiences.
Data source: NRC Picker Family Survey
BENCHMARK DATA: Not available.
Care and compassion
Interpretation: Most families said staff definitely showed care and compassion. Twenty percent of families said staff somewhat showed care and compassion, and no families said staff did not show care and compassion in the latest time period. We are currently below our goal of 90%.
What are we doing to improve: All patient care areas are working on ways to continuously improve expressions of care and compassion, including implementation of family centered rounds, family liaisons for all units, and interpreter services on daily rounds.
Data source: NRC Picker Family Survey
Benchmark data: Not available.
This measure is still in process.