Intermountain Medical Center in Murray Has the Nation’s Highest Survival Rate for Heart Attack Patients, According to New Federal Data

According to new federal data, Intermountain Medical Center in Murray has the nation’s highest survival rate for heart attack patients. 

Data just released from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, shows that Intermountain Medical Center – along with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and NYU Langone Hospital – have the highest 30-day survival rate in the nation for heart attack patients hospitalized for care. 

To assess hospital patient survival rates, CMS collected provider-level data on complication measures, reviewed CMS Patient Safety Indicators, and analyzed 30-day death rates for hospitals across the nation. 

The top ten hospitals in the nation with the highest survival rates (measured as lowest death rates), for hospitalized heart attack patients, according to CMS, are:

1. Intermountain Medical Center (Murray, UT): 8.9 
1. Mayo Clinic Hospital (Rochester, MN): 8.9 
1. NYU Langone Hospitals (New York City): 8.9 
4. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles): 9.2
4. Medstar Washington Hospital Center (Washington, DC): 9.2
4. New York-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City): 9.2
7. Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Minneapolis, MN): 9.3
8. Riverside Methodist Hospital (Columbus, OH): 9.4
9. Jersey Shore University Medical Center (Neptune, NJ): 9.5
10. Stanford University Health Care (CA): 9.6

“We’re really proud of this achievement,” said Kent Meredith, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Intermountain Medical Center, who helps lead the heart attack treatment program at the hospital. “CMS is a government agency that tracks healthcare outcomes, so it’s free of the biases that can be seen by other reports from internal data. This data shows very directly that patients who were treated at Intermountain Medical Center have the highest percentage of surviving after a heart attack compared to all other hospitals in the United States.”

Intermountain cardiologists credit a multi-disciplinary approach and rapid treatment protocol in place at the hospital for success in treating heart attack patients. This includes close coordination with first responders in the community, emergency department personnel, and other key medical providers who are mobilized to treat patients suspected of suffering a heart attack. 

“We have a large multi-disciplinary team that has been meeting every quarter for the past 16 years to review and refine the heart attack treatment process that we follow here at Intermountain Medical Center,” said Dr. Meredith. “This team is quite diverse, including doctors from different specialties involved in caring for heart attack patients, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics from community fire and emergency departments, our Intermountain Life Flight team, hospital operators, and hospital administrators. These results clearly demonstrate the value of diversity and teamwork.”

Intermountain interventional cardiologist, Trey O’Neal, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiology at Intermountain Medical Center, who has specialized in the heart attack care at Intermountain Medical Center for over 14 years, agrees.


He says Intermountain was able to achieve this level of care through several factors and points to a long-standing commitment to quality of care above all else that has driven interventional cardiologists, catheter lab staff, regular outcome reviews, and EMS coordination. 

“Many cardiovascular programs, both locally and around the country, place other things before quality, so our foremost dedication to the most appropriate care is unique at Intermountain Medical Center, and that commitment shows in our outcomes,” said Dr. O’Neal. 

Additionally, Dr. O’Neal credits Intermountain’s nation-leading STEMI (heart attack) transfer system as documented by national registry data, a skilled critical care team with robust mechanical support skills, a unique cardiovascular in-patient hospitalist program, and an active outpatient cardiovascular rehabilitation program that provides more comprehensive care for heart attack patients after they’re discharged from the hospital than typical cardiac centers in the country. 

“Our program has evolved over 20 years and is now becoming a true national model of cardiovascular care,” said Stephen McKellar, MD, cardiovascular department chair at Intermountain Medical Center. “This federal data demonstrates that.”

Cardiologists say time is critical to survival for heart attack patients. Awareness of symptoms by patients, bystanders, first responders, hospital emergency department staff, and a dedicated and experienced heart attack treatment team at the hospital, is key.

“Early symptom recognition by patients will decrease their risk for heart failure and, more importantly, save their lives,” said Dr. O’Neal. “Sudden chest pain/pressure, shortness of breath, severe heartburn, radiating jaw pain or arm numbness are some of the common symptoms that should make people think about a heart attack. We would rather people call 911 or come to the ER than remain at home wondering whether they are having a heart attack. You won't die of embarrassment if nothing is wrong, but you most certainly can die of a heart attack.”

Once patients arrive at Intermountain Medical Center, there is a dedicated heart attack treatment process in place – as well as a specialized team waiting to provide immediate treatment. 

“There are a lot of steps that occur when a heart attack patient arrives at a hospital that can cause delays of even a few minutes,” added Dr. Meredith. “We have learned how to recognize the patients who are most likely having a heart attack and bypass many steps that can delay the most urgent treatment. We’re able to take them out of the ER within minutes of arrival, and get them to the cardiac cath lab, where life-saving angioplasty is performed, and stents can be placed to open the patient’s blocked artery.”

Dr. Meredith says the federal survival data, “confirms that when healthcare providers consistently use the treatments that have been proven by medical research, we can see significant gains in the health and survival of the community.” 


Intermountain Medical Center tops CMS list with Mayo Clinic and NYU Langone Hospital