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Health Services Information: Lessons Learned from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database

  • David M. ShahianEmail author
  • Jeffrey P. Jacobs
Reference work entry
Part of the Health Services Research book series (HEALTHSR)

Abstract

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) National Database was initiated in 1989 with the goal of providing accurate clinical data to support quality assessment and improvement activities in cardiothoracic surgery. Participation among adult cardiac surgery centers and pediatric cardiac surgery centers in the USA currently exceeds 90 %, and the STS National Database now also includes a general thoracic surgery registry with growing national penetration.

The specific functions of the STS National Database have also evolved, as reflected in its various task forces. Quality assessment remains the primary function, and the STS Quality Measurement Task Force is responsible for developing risk models and performance metrics (often composites) for frequently performed cardiothoracic procedures. Each quarter, participants in the STS Adult Cardiac Database are provided with detailed feedback reports of their practice characteristics, including demographics, risk factor profiles, operative data, and outcomes benchmarked against STS national data. Similar feedback reports are provided to participants in the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database and the STS General Thoracic Database every 6 months. In addition, given its belief in accountability, STS established a Public Reporting Task Force to coordinate voluntary public reporting initiatives using the Consumer Reports or STS websites.

The ultimate goal of all database activities is to improve patient outcomes, and specific quality improvement projects are developed and led by the STS Quality Initiatives Task Force. The STS Task Force on Longitudinal Follow-Up and Linked Registries coordinates the linkage of STS clinical registry data with complementary information regarding long-term outcomes and costs from other data sources. Additional STS National Database Task Forces include International Relations, Appropriateness, Cost and Resource Use, Dashboards, and Informatics.

In summary, the STS National Database is a uniquely valuable resource that is largely responsible for the dramatic improvements in cardiothoracic surgical outcomes that have occurred over the past quarter century.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery and Center for Quality and SafetyMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of SurgeryJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart InstituteSaint Petersburg/TampaUSA

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