St. Anthony’s Medical Center has hired eleven former Metro Heart Group physicians to direct and coordinate its cardiac programs, which are collectively known as The Heart Specialty Center. Ex-Metro Heart president and cardiologist, Dr. David Morton, will lead the effort as the center’s medical director.
The goal is to provide optimal patient care and to create what they hope will become one of the most comprehensive cardiac programs in the country.
Their timetable is aggressive. Morton expects St. Anthony’s to catapult onto one of the national lists of top-ranked heart hospitals in the next three years.
“Our former practice (Metro) tried to develop a top-tier program for years,” said Morton. “Although we had relationships with several St. Louis hospitals, we came to realize that we would have to affiliate with just one to make it work.”
The practice tried unsuccessfully to get the hospitals to collaborate on such a project. Morton and his peers persisted, and met with four local hospitals including St. Anthony’s Medical Center. Their timing was good. The medical center hadn’t completed its long-range plans and the group’s vision of working together with a hospital resonated with St. Anthony’s administration.
“Top quality—that’s the reason we’re doing this,” Morton said. “We need to have all the components of cardiovascular care working together, driving toward the same mission.”
Morton and his colleagues provide the medical center with cardiac care expertise and guidance. They will set standards, direct patient care and oversee cardiac care administered in the hospital and through its outpatient heart programs while St. Anthony’s provides the infrastructure, namely the facilities and equipment.
“Other business models have administrators in charge,” Morton said. “They have a chief operating officer." The heart center is physician led.
“Under this partnership model, we are all one, all working toward the same goal,” he said. The physicians’ group includes invasive and non-invasive cardiologists, interventional cardiologists and cardiac electrophysiologists.
Reporter's note: According to the U.S. News & World Report, Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University was ranked as the 12th best heart and heart surgery hospital for 2010-2011. The magazine only ranks the top 50 hospitals in 16 adult specialties.