UNC Children's can resume complex heart surgeries, independent panel says

An independent advisory board has ruled that Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Children's Hospital can resume complex heart surgeries after a three-month pause, reports The News & Observer.

The hospital temporarily suspended complex surgeries June 17 amid an investigation into the safety of its heart surgery program, which The New York Times highlighted in a 7,000-word investigative report in late May.

That same month, UNC's board of directors hired an independent advisory board to review the cardiac surgery program and suggest improvements as necessary. The board visited the hospital Aug. 22 and issued a five-page report Sept. 11.

"Significant investment and progress have been made, including new leadership, as well as additional faculty and support staff within the pediatric heart surgical program, and surgical outcomes have improved over the last year," the advisory board wrote in the report.

State health officials and The Joint Commission also reviewed the program and found it in compliance with all regulations in August.

To view the full report, click here.

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