Outcomes Data

Heart Surgeons in Operating Room

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is dedicated to treating all patients, from fetus to adult. We help patients with congenital heart defects -  from the most straightforward cases to the extremely complex.

To ensure our program is held to the highest standards, we participate in several national databases, registries and advisory panels where patient outcomes are reviewed. Through these groups, we share best practices with other providers from around the country and develop new quality improvement initiatives and measures that will continue to enhance cardiac care.

We provide this information publicly by reporting our volumes and outcomes data each year. In doing so, we hope to give patients and families the information they need to choose the right health care partner for their child’s journey.

  • Volume data is the number of procedures a hospital has performed and can be a good indication of experience.
  • Outcomes data uses several factors to evaluate the success of a hospital’s clinical practices. 

We hope this information provides you with full transparency on our cardiac program.

Surgical Outcomes

Congenital heart surgeons perform more than 200 different types of procedures on fewer than 1 million patients each year in the United States. This makes comparing survival outcomes difficult.

The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s participates in public reporting through the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), which updates surgical data once per year. The STS groups different types of pediatric cardiothoracic surgeries and procedures based on complexity.

STAT Level 1 procedures are the least complex. STAT Level 5 procedures are the most complex.

Please note that STAT categories do not take into consideration how sick a child is. A very sick child may need a lower-category procedure, but the risk is higher because of the underlying condition of the child.

Our expert surgeons are known for their treatment of complex, high-risk patients. By comparing data from previous years, we can track annual improvement in the quality of our program and patient outcomes.

Cardiothoracic Surgical Survival Rates by STAT Category of Complexity

(STAT Category 1-5: Level 1, least complex; Level 5, most complex)

2019 2018 2017 2016
Mortality Rate
Surgeries Deaths Mortality Rate Surgeries Deaths Mortality Rate Surgeries Deaths Mortality Rate
STAT Level 1 65 0.00%  64 0 0.00% 78 0 0.00% 113 0 0.00%
STAT Level 2 119 0 0.00%  114 1 0.88% 109 1 0.92% 97 4 4.12%
STAT Level 3 30 0.00%  20 0 0.00% 42 0 0.00% 35 2 5.71%
STAT Level 4 63 4.76%  78 4 5.13% 62 5 8.06% 60 4 6.67%
STAT Level 5 21 3 14.29%  16 0 0.00% 33 6 18.18% 39 3 7.69%
Total 298 6 2.01%  292 5 1.71% 324 12 3.70% 344 13 3.78% 

In 2019, Nationwide Children’s sponsored the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association’s Summit on Transparency and Public Reporting of Pediatric  and Congenital Heart Disease Outcomes. Here, national experts in congenital heart disease gathered to discuss the importance of good public reporting.

Volume Data

By the Numbers

Several metrics are used to monitor the growth and quality of surgical programs:

  • Case mix describes the types of cases seen in the program.
  • Volume describes how many patients are seen in different populations.

By sharing these data for Cardiothoracic Surgery and Interventional Cardiology, we offer families an objective measure of our experience with certain types of cases and ages of patients.

Highlighted Case Mix of Interventional Cardiology Procedures

Cardiothoracic Surgical Volume

Highlighted Case Mix of Cardiothoracic Surgical Procedures

Diagnostic Cardiology Volume

Therapeutic Cardiology Volume

Specialty Services

The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s is a high-volume, comprehensive center focused on delivering best outcomes to children living with congenital heart conditions. From our fetal interventions to our adult congenital heart disease clinics, we are here to provide a lifetime of care. The table below shows our volumes for specialty services other than surgery and interventional cardiology.

Comprehensive Volumes for The Heart Center

Specialty Services 2014 2015   2016 2017 2018 2019
Electrophysiology 163 180 183 174 161 155 
Patient Days 7,642  11,111 9,646 9,511 9,533 9,327 
Noninvasive Diagnostics 27,771  30,160 32,075 34,412  35,224 36,823 
— Echocardiogram 10,441 12,740  12,792 13,535 14,411 15,155 
— Other Noninvasive 17,330  17,420  19,283 20,877 20,813 21,668 
Adult Congenital Heart Disease 1,501  1,846 2,258 1,824  2,108 2,403 
Outpatient Visits 13,517 14,357 15,391 15,541 16,591  18,125


Reducing Preventable Harm

We are committed to the safety and care of every patient. Our goal is zero preventable harm. The idea of zero harm is achieved through many quality improvement measures and has led to us being a national leader with our “Zero Hero” program. As a hospital, we study measures around the prevention of medication errors, infections and hand hygiene.

With more than 35 ongoing projects to improve outcomes in heart care, we are always trying to better ourselves to provide the best possible care for our patients and their families.

The Preventable Harm Index below shows how we’ve decreased preventable harm from 2015 to 2019.

Preventable Harm Index

Reducing Radiation Exposure for Catheterization and Electrophysiology Procedures

Concerns related to patient radiation exposure have led The Heart Center to create quality initiatives to reduce median radiation dosage during catheterization and electrophysiology (EP) procedures. As a result of the actions we’ve taken over the last few years, the year to date (YTD) median dose continues to decline.

Median Dose Reduction for Cath & EP


You play an important role in your child’s health care. If you have questions about our outcomes at Nationwide Children’s, feel free to ask your child’s care team or contact us directly.