Mercy South First in St. Louis Region to Achieve TAVR Benchmark

March 10, 2022

The structural heart team at Mercy Hospital South is now one of only 30 in the country, to reach Edwards Benchmark status for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

The Edwards Benchmark program by Edwards Lifesciences is an evidence-based, data driven program that educates and measures how well hospitals apply worldwide clinical best practices while treating valve replacement patients with TAVR. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that enables cardiologist and surgeons to replace a faulty heart valve without opening the patient’s chest. Instead, doctors deliver the replacement valve through an artery.

“Achieving this goal is all about doing what’s best for the patient,” said Umraan Ahmad, MD, medical director of Mercy South’s structural heart team. “Putting these best practices in place improves patient safety, patient quality and the patient experience. It leads to excellent outcomes for our patients and lowers the number of complications.”

Dr. Ahmad says the integration of a multidisciplinary team, including nursing, anesthesia, imaging, interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery, is a major key to the TAVR program’s success. That success includes better outcomes, fewer complications, shorter procedure times and quicker discharge for patients. The collaborative approach also allows the heart team to perform many complex heart procedures and surgeries and achieve excellent outcomes for patients.

“From the patient’s first evaluation to the procedure all the way through follow up care, our team works seamlessly to keep the patient at the center of what we do,” Dr. Ahmad said.

Mercy South performs more than 100 TAVR procedures each year along with other complicated cardiac procedures. As an Edwards Benchmark program, the Mercy South structural heart team looks forward to mentoring and teaching some of the other 800 plus TAVR programs across the country.