Texas Children’s Heart Center boasts outcomes among the best in the nation, treating more than 17,000 children with congenital heart defects annually

Texas Children’s Hospital is committed to helping patients, families and providers make better health care decisions using outcomes data. To highlight this dedication, Texas Children’s Heart Center releases an annual Heart Center Outcomes booklet that provides an overview of the cardiovascular program, contains important data about clinical outcomes and highlights the innovative research taking place at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine. Texas Children’s Heart Center is ranked #3 nationally in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. To view the most recent Heart Center Outcomes book visit texaschildrens.org/heartoutcomes.

Texas Children’s Heart Center has been a pioneering leader in pediatric cardiac care for more than 50 years, treating more than 17,000 children with congenital heart defects and performing more than 800 surgeries annually. The Heart Center team, led by Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., chief of congenital heart surgery, Dr. Daniel Penny, chief of cardiology, Dr. Emad Mossad, director of pediatric cardiovascular anesthesiology and professor of anesthesiology at Baylor, and Dr. Lara Shekerdemian, chief of critical care and professor of pediatrics at Baylor, combines cutting-edge technology with compassion and a family-centered approach.

“We continuously examine our patient outcomes and are transparent in sharing them,” said Penny, who is also a professor of pediatrics – cardiology at Baylor. “We do so to improve the quality of care we provide to our cardiac patients and to let the referring physicians, guardians and patients know what to expect when they come to Texas Children’s Heart Center.”

The Heart Center’s efforts are supported through Texas Children’s Outcomes and Impact Service which is dedicated to patients and families through a commitment to track and improve clinical outcomes, transparency in sharing those outcomes and advocating for care to be provided where the best outcomes can be achieved.

“By tracking our outcomes, we not only learn about what happens to our patients, but our performance as a health care delivery organization, too,” said Fraser, who is also surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s and a professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor. “There is always room for improvement and we must continue to strive toward excellent care for our patients.”

            Striking examples of the strength and depth of the integrated, multidisciplinary Heart Center team is exemplified by the following:


The Arrhythmia and Pacing Service at Texas Children’s Heart Center offers the full complement of diagnostic and therapeutic options to evaluate and manage any heart rhythm abnormality. To expand patient access, dedicated electrophysiology outpatient clinics were established on a daily basis. In 2012, the team’s supraventricular tachycardia ablation success rate was 96.7 percent, above the national benchmark of 95.2 percent. Additional partnerships with community and referring providers from across the region have been established to provide on-site and telemedicine consultations, enabling all patients to receive Texas Children’s electrophysiology care closer to home.

Coronary Anomalies Program

Congenital coronary anomalies are the second most common cause of sudden cardiac death in children and young adults. These anomalies are congenital defects in one or more of the coronary arteries of the heart and may relate to the origin, location, size or course of the coronary artery. In December 2012, Texas Children’s established the Coronary Anomalies Program and since then there have been 25 patients. Of those, surgery was recommended for 12 and completed in seven patients. The complication rate for these patients is 0 percent.

Interventional Cardiology

The interventional cardiology team performed more than 750 cardiac catheterization procedures in 2012. Of these cases, 99.6 percent were performed without major complications. Texas Children’s Heart Center is the largest and most comprehensive facility in the region to offer interventional cardiac catheterization for infants, children, adolescents and adults.

Heart Transplants

Since its inception in 1984, Texas Children’s Heart Center has performed more than 280 heart transplants, making it one of the largest and most successful programs in the nation. In 2012, the United States Food and Drug Administration granted humanitarian device exemption for the Berlin Heart EXCOR® Pediatric ventricular assist device, the only pediatric mechanical circulatory support device designed specially for infants and small children, to bridge them to transplantation. In smaller patient’s, those with a body surface area of less than 0.7m2, 88 percent of those placed on the Berlin Heart were successfully transplant compared with patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support, of which 25 percent did not make it to transplantation. These data demonstrate that the Berlin Heart improves the chances of survival for children of all ages as compared to ECMO support. Additionally, in 2012, Texas Children’s Transplant Program earned a national certification from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Additional outcomes tracked in the book include diagnostic testing and cardiac imaging, Adult Congenital Heart Disease clinic encounters, cardiovascular anesthesia cases and Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit admissions.


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