Top 100 Cardiovascular HospitalRiverside Regional Medical Center has been designated as one of the nation’s 100 top cardiovascular hospitals by Thomson Reuters Top Hospitals. Riverside is the only hospital in Hampton Roads to achieve this designation.

The annual Thomson Reuters award for cardiovascular services objectively measures performance on key criteria at the nation’s top performing acute-care hospitals. This is the third time Riverside has been recognized with this honor.

Steve Scott MD a Riverside cardiac surgeon noted “This award is an acknowledgment of the great job and dedication that so many physicians and team members have given to the heart program at Riverside.  Our community and our patients benefit everyday from their skill, experience and compassion.”

Riverside is the only Peninsula hospital to provide a full service heart program in one location. This includes: emergency cardiac care, interventional cardiology and open heart surgery as well as cardiac rehabilitation.  This full range of services means that Riverside patients don’t need to be transferred to other area hospitals to complete their diagnosis and treatments.

Listed below are the key findings about the importance of this designation.

What measures are used to identify well-managed cardiovascular programs?

The 100 Top Hospitals Cardiovascular award is based on a wide set of measures.

Patient outcomes
Survival rates for heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, and heart bypass patients plus low rates of surgical complications like infections and severe bleeding after surgery.

National treatment standards
  • Core measures: A set of basic care practices that should be used for all heart attack and heart failure patients. Core measures were developed by The Joint Commission as minimum basic standards. A hospital is scored only on those core measures that the hospital reports publicly. You can see all hospitals’ specific core measures scores at and
  • Surgical technique: Use of the internal mammary artery in heart bypass measure-a standard for heart bypasses set by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Although this is not possible for all patients, we look for a very high percentage in the best cardiovascular programs.

In the best cardiovascular programs, the hospital’s cardiovascular staff is a team that constantly works together to do the right thing at the right time. When this happens, the patients are returned to daily life faster and costs are kept lower.

Procedure volume
It makes sense that practice makes perfect. National volume standards have been set for the number of angioplasties and heart bypasses performed to assure reliable results.

If this award is for hospitals, what does it mean to patients?

While there are no perfect cardiovascular hospitals, research has shown that surgeon and hospital teamwork produces a greater likelihood of better outcomes, adherence to standards, and more reasonable costs. Patients can feel comfortable that a 100 Top Hospitals Cardiovascular award-winning hospital has adopted a team approach to heart care and is performing well against national standards. Its management, doctors, nurses, and hospital employees work together to constantly measure, review, and improve performance to make it a better place to be treated by heart disease. 


Published: November 18, 2008