RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – UNC REX Healthcare’s N.C. Heart & Vascular Hospital, along with WakeMed Raleigh and Duke Regional Hospital, have been named one of the nation’s top 50 cardiovascular hospitals by Fortune and IBM Watson Health.

This one of several recent honors received by UNC REX for its care and treatment of heart and vascular patients.  

“This recognition reflects the hard work and compassion of our physicians and co-workers, who have made the N.C. Heart & Vascular Hospital a national center for excellent care,” said Ernie Bovio, President of UNC REX. “Heart disease hasn’t disappeared during the pandemic, and we are proud to provide the best cardiovascular care for all of our patients and their families.”  

IBM Watson Health and Fortune magazine ranked heart hospitals based on measures such as mortality, complications, readmissions, length of stay, cost and other factors. This is the fourth straight year UNC REX made the list.

The IBM Watson study found that if all cardiovascular hospitals performed at the same level of this year’s winners, more than 7,000 additional lives could be saved, 5,000 more heart patients could be complication-free and over $1.6 billion could be saved every year.  

“UNC REX is proud to have received this award every year since the N.C. Heart & Vascular Hospital opened,” said Dr. Ravish Sachar, Physician-in-Chief of the Heart and Vascular Service Line at UNC REX. “This award reflects the strong collaboration between providers, administrators and co-workers that supports the outstanding care we provide every day.” 

WakeMed also made the list.

WakeMed said it is the only hospital in the Triangle to achieve the additional distinction of meeting the criteria established by the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines programs, which promote evidence-based guidelines and improved patient care and outcomes.

“Our heart and vascular programs have earned top honors for quality, success and for implementing a higher standard of care and services. We are pleased to be recognized for our performance, cardiovascular care excellence and our unwavering commitment to provide an exceptional patient and family experience,” said Dr. Judson B. Williams, cardiovascular surgeon and executive medical director of WakeMed Heart & Vascular. “The WakeMed Heart Center represents the best training, care processes and the latest technologies with unrivaled commitment from a diverse interdisciplinary team.”

Duke Regional Hospital was named to the list for the first time this year.

Hospitals do not apply to participate in the ranking, or pay to be included. Fortune and IBM Watson used publicly available data on nearly 1,000 hospitals to rank the top 50. 

For more information about the Fortune and IBM Watson study, visit here.