New data suggests that New Jersey hospitals have significantly improved their ability to care for heart bypass patients. Deaths from heart bypass surgery at the state's hospitals fell almost 12 percent in 2004, according to data reported by the state's Department of Health and Senior Services. More significantly, the post-bypass death rate has been cut in half since 1994, when the state first began reporting these statistics. In 2004, an average of 2 percent of the 6,177 patients who had bypasses died in the hospital or within 30 days of their surgery. In 1994-1995, that figure was above 4 percent. The report, which names individual hospitals as well as providing averages, cited the state's Hackensack University Medical Center and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center as having done particularly well, with mortality rates below 1 percent. University Hospital in Newark, meanwhile, had a mortality rate of 6.8 percent.