The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ratings give insight into congenital heart outcomes

When a parent has a newborn, child or teen with a congenital heart condition that needs surgery, they want to know where the operation should happen and which hospital has a record of success.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) operates a database that rates congenital heart programs based on patients’ outcomes. Users can look up programs based on name or location.

The STS assigns one to three stars to each program that takes part. The stars are assigned based on outcomes adjusted for how sick the patient is.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute
  • One star: Higher than expected death rate.
  • Two stars: Death rate no higher or lower than expected.
  • Three stars: Lower than expected death rate.

The vast majority of programs earn two stars. The STS database rates no congenital heart program in Kentucky, Southern Indiana or Ohio higher than Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, which has two stars.


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