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IBM Business Analytics Helps Sequoia Hospital Cut Mortality Rates in Cardiac Surgery by 50 Percent

ARMONK, N.Y. REDWOOD CITY, Calif. Feb. 9, 2011 IBM IBM Sequoia Hospital Redwood City, Calif. IBM predictive analytics software )

By analyzing a cardiac database of more than 10,000 patients, including demographics, types of surgeries, risk factors and outcomes, IBM predictive analytics informs doctors and recommends crucial pre- and postoperative procedures that reduce complications and extend the length and quality of patients’ lives.

The use of IBM predictive analytics software supports the latest advancement in evidence-based medicine that integrates and analyzes existing information from various sources, including healthcare databases, medical precedents and real-world medical cases. Combining this information with an individual patient’s condition, medical history and ailments allows Sequoia Hospital doctors to better counsel patients on the best strategy for care at a given point in time.

Sequoia Hospital performs procedures ranging from stents and catheterizations to valve replacements, angioplasties and coronary bypass surgeries. Cardiac surgeons at Sequoia Hospital use analyses from IBM predictive analytics to better determine if and when a patient is an appropriate candidate for surgery, and how to best manage the case. The hospital uses the software to compile individual patient factors such as age, weight, current state of health, previous surgeries and number of procedures required, and analyzes and compares this data against similar national and local cases. Now, they are able to understand potential outcomes by type of procedure and risk factors to provide customized recommendations for patients.

For example, in a matter of seconds IBM predictive analytics software informs a cardiac surgeon on the risk of mortality for an 80-year-old patient with renal insufficiency that needs an aortic valve replacement. In this way, the surgeon, patient and family clearly understand the risk factors involved and can make a fully informed decision on whether it is best to proceed with surgery or wait.

Audrey Fisher

Patient Results in Seconds is Saving Lives

Prior to its use, doctors would ask for analysis and it would take up to two weeks to get results. Today, the software provides flexibility, mobility and customized analysis allowing doctors to get results almost instantaneously. This unique type of prospective risk management and personalized approach has enabled Sequoia Hospital to earn the highest ranking over five years for mortality and complications according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, which tracks and evaluates procedures and outcomes for hospitals nationwide.

IBM predictive analytics software creates the needed evidence to guide Sequoia’s clinical pre- and postoperative procedures. For instance, the software revealed that an anticoagulant drug often given to patients after a heart attack dramatically increases the chances of serious postoperative bleeding. Based on that information, Sequoia was able to put a protocol in place to stop the drug at least five days prior to surgery to allow the patient’s platelets to recover and significantly reduce bleeding events.

Deepak Advani

Sequoia Hospital has also improved its overall business and maintained its edge in the competitive Northern Californian market. Today, Sequoia is able to prove that it has the best heart valve replacement survival rate in the nation, becoming a referral destination for patients throughout the entire state. This also allows patients to make a better educated decision on receiving the best care for their particular ailment.

IBM SPSS Software

Media Contact:

Tim Powers, IBM


[email protected]


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