October 31, 2017 — Heart disease affects 2.4 million Canadians and their families. New indicators and a report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), in collaboration with the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS), provide Canadians living with heart disease information on outcomes following cardiac surgery. This is the first time results are publicly available in Canada for cardiac care centres across the country.

The Cardiac Care Quality Indicators Report found that, over the 3 years studied, death rates were low and few patients were readmitted within 30 days of their procedure. The report looked at outcomes following 4 cardiac procedures:

  1. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI): This non-surgical procedure uses a catheter (a thin flexible tube) to place a stent to open up blood vessels in the heart that have been narrowed by plaque buildup.
  2. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG): Commonly known as bypass surgery, this helps improves blood flow to the heart muscle.
  3. Aortic valve replacement (AVR): This surgery repairs or replaces a valve in the heart that is not working properly.
  4. Combined CABG and AVR: This is a combination of bypass surgery and value replacement.

Nationally, the percentage of people who died in the hospital within 30 days of receiving their procedure was low:

  • PCI: 2.3%
  • Isolated CABG: 1.3%
  • Isolated AVR: 1.3%
  • Combined CABG and AVR: 3.3%

Canada’s average mortality and readmission rates are in line with those of other countries like the United Kingdom.

More information about the report and the suite of Cardiac Care quality indicators is available on our Cardiac Care page.

CIHI is committed to reporting on many different health indicators at the national, provincial/territorial, regional and facility levels to provide information to Canadians about their health systems. Over the past year, CIHI has added several new indicators to Your Health System. This online tool includes the indicator Hospitalized Heart Attacks, as well as 45 other indicators. Later this fall, 22 indicators will be updated with the most recent information available.


“Quality indicators play an important role in evaluating how health systems are performing. Our report shows that Canada has very positive results for Cardiac Care quality indicators. While no cardiac care centres performed above or below average on all indicators, variation in indicator results suggests there may be opportunities for quality improvement and sharing of best practices across centres.”

— Kira Leeb, Director, Health System Performance, Canadian Institute for Health Information

“The release of this report is an extremely positive step forward for the cardiovascular community in terms of improving quality of care and patient outcomes across the country. Cardiologists like myself will be able to use these indicator results to make tangible improvements to care that will have a lasting impact on the lives of Canadian heart patients.”

— Dr. Catherine Kells, President, Canadian Cardiovascular Society

About CIHI

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides essential information on Canada’s health systems and the health of Canadians.

We provide comparable and actionable data and information that are used to accelerate improvements in health care, health system performance and population health across Canada. Our stakeholders use our broad range of health system databases, measurements and standards, together with our evidence-based reports and analyses, in their decision-making processes. We protect the privacy of Canadians by ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the health care information we provide.

Media contact

Julie Bortolotti