STS National Database
The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. There are three components to the STS National Database, each focusing on a different area of cardiothoracic surgery—Adult Cardiac, General Thoracic, and Congenital Heart Surgery, with the availability of Anesthesiology participation within the Adult Cardiac and Congenital Heart Surgery Database components. The Database has grown exponentially over the years, both in terms of participation and stature. Learn more in the STS National Database Brochure.
The component Databases provide participants with opportunities for quality improvement. The Society has developed quality performance measures in all three cardiothoracic surgery subspecialties, and these measures have either been endorsed or are in the process of being considered for endorsement by the National Quality Forum. By collecting outcomes data for submission to the STS National Database, surgeons are committing to improving the quality of care that their cardiothoracic surgery patients receive.
The Database has the corollary potential to be a powerful tool for clinical research. Since its inception, more than 100 publications have been derived from Database outcomes. These studies have been published in a variety of professional journals and textbooks and have significantly advanced knowledge in cardiothoracic surgery.
The Database continues to expand with new initiatives. STS Public Reporting Online enables Database participants to voluntarily report their performance to the public. Overall composite star ratings, as well as component ratings, are listed. Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD) participants can publicly report outcomes for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement (AVR), and CABG + AVR combined. ACSD public reporting became available in late 2010. In early 2015, public reporting became available for Congenital Heart Surgery Database participants.
The ACSD contains more than 5.8 million surgical records, representing more than 90% of all adult cardiac surgery centers across the United States. In 2011, STS allowed international participation in the ACSD. This international initiative later expanded to the General Thoracic Surgery Database and Congenital Heart Surgery Database.