The rationale for a congenital heart surgery database lies in the organized manner in which information can be compiled to accomplish programmatic evaluation, monitor clinical outcomes, comply with governmental requirements, perform retrospective and prospective clinical studies, and participate in local, national, and global improvement strategies. The task of inaugurating an effective congenital heart surgery database has taken many years and involved concurrent development efforts at multiple sites. Two such efforts took place in North America with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database, and in Europe with the European Congenital Heart Defects Database. These initial efforts provided the impetus for development of an international congenital heart surgery database that would allow scientific exchanges on an international scale and promote multi-institutional evaluation of congenital heart surgery. Sample outcome templates from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery's accepted minimum database data set are reviewed for the specific diagnostic entry ventricular septal defect, to familiarize the reader with potential available data summaries and outcome analyses, including risk stratification, when data harvest is performed. In Europe, the agreed upon minimum data set are now collected as part of the Pediatric European Cardiac Surgical Registry, while in North America users of the CardioAccess database and users of the minimum data set downloaded from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons web site are being notified of plans for a 2002 data harvest incorporating the minimum database data set. It is likely that the extant voluntary, minimal data set congenital heart surgery database will be replaced by a mandated system required by states, provinces, and countries. Data collection schemes and data validation programs will become standardized, which will result in improved data quality and uniform congenital heart center participation. As participation with valid data approaches 100% of congenital heart centers, the power and importance of the database increases exponentially. Reliable information can be used to assess residency/fellowship programs, resource allocation, major therapeutic trends, manpower issues, and in the end, all initiatives that will require accurate information.
- Congenital heart surgery database
- Outcome analysis
- Risk stratification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine