February 2000

Study Finds Correlation Between Cardiovascular Services, Lower Mortality at Good Samaritan in Kearney

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A ten-year cardiovascular trend analysis conducted by John Goodman & Associates of Las Vegas, Nev., found that the cardiovascular services introduced by Good Samaritan Health Systems of Kearney, Neb., between 1990 and 1995 correlate with a major decline in the area’s mortality rate from ischemic heart disease.

Before 1990, the mortality rate from ischemic heart disease in Good Samaritan’s service area was significantly higher than the national average. The study, one of the first of its kind in the United States, correlated the addition of cardiovascular services at Good Samaritan to the mortality rate by year. The rate declined during the early 1990s as Good Samaritan added services and fell below the national mortality rate in 1995.

In addition to Good Samaritan’s implementation of cardiovascular services, John Goodman & Associates attributes the positive results to the development of the hospital’s formal cardiovascular product line, its comprehensive outreach program and its marketing and education activities. "These actions have resulted in the saving of close to 1,000 lives over the last ten years," said John Goodman, president of John Goodman & Associates. "Certainly, the number of lives that will be saved during the next ten years will be significantly greater."

The study was a follow-up to a similar study that John Goodman & Associates conducted in 1988 and 1989, which helped Good Samaritan make the decision to add cardiovascular services. "Outside of the Omaha and Lincoln areas, Nebraska has been underserved in cardiology," said Mark Svoboda, administrative director of the Greater Nebraska Heart Center at Good Samaritan. "Our goal is to bring the people in our service area, much of which is rural and isolated, the same level of cardiovascular care they would receive in Omaha, Lincoln or other large cities. The new study is concrete validation of what we suspected was true – that we are achieving that goal."

Svoboda says that Good Samaritan will continue to reach out to educate the community about cardiovascular disease and the services available at its Heart Center. "We’re putting more of a focus on prevention and awareness and addressing a younger audience," he says.