Evanston Hospital to discontinue open-heart surgeries in May

Endeavor Health received state approval March 12 to stop providing open-heart surgeries at Evanston Hospital and Highland Park Hospital.

The health system is planning to open what it describes as a “state of the art Cardiovascular Institute” at another hospital it owns, Glenbrook Hospital, in May. Once that happens, all Endeavor patients will get open-heart surgeries there. Evanston and Highland Park hospitals will still provide treatment for emergency heart issues and, if necessary, stabilize patients to allow them to be safely transported to Glenbrook Hospital.

The change is part of Endeavor’s broader strategy to put specialized services in one hospital within the system, which it maintains is a more efficient use of resources.

Any time a health care provider wants to stop providing a health service, it must go before the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board. The board approved the request during its March 12 meeting, which was held at the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

According to Endeavor spokesperson Keith Hartenberger, Evanston and Highland Park hospitals “will continue to offer emergency cardiac care services.” He gave as examples cardiac catheterization, treatment for clogged arteries and irregular heartbeat and heart tests.

“They will also continue to offer echocardiograms, stress testing and advanced cardiology imaging,” Hartenberger added.

If a patient arrives at either hospital with a heart-related health emergency, he said, doctors will be on hand to respond. Patients who need surgery beyond that “will be assessed, stabilized and seamlessly transferred to Endeavor Health Glenbrook Hospital,” he said.

Hartenberger said the three hospitals have long used a common record-keeping system, “so patient access, care coordination, referral and scheduling will all transition seamlessly.”

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