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Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2007 Aug;7(4):335-41. doi: 10.1586/14737167.7.4.335.

Cardiovascular service line development: what is it, who benefits and is it worthwhile?

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  • 1University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, 600 Highland Avenue G5/325, Madison, WI 53792, USA. turnip@surgery.wisc.edu.


This article describes the creation and function of a cardiovascular service line in a university healthcare-based system. In 2001, an organizational structure (service line) was created to establish accountability between vascular surgeons, cardiologists and hospital administrators. The purpose of this merger was to provide focused, efficient care of cardiovascular patients at a reduced cost. Performance measures included clinical volume change, market share, length of stay, patient satisfaction and hospital margins. Between 2000 and 2006, annual patient volumes increased from 28,140 to 38,182 patients per year (36% increase). Endovascular case volumes increased from 730 to 1591 per year. Between 2003 and 2006, the average length of stay dropped from 7.7 to 5.5 days. Hospital margins increased from an average of 2.8 to 8%. This service line has improved efficiency and care of heart and vascular patients with decreased length of stay and hospital cost.

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