First International Participant Joins the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database

STS National Database News, December 2011 -- The Society extends bim-vindo (that’s “welcome” in Portuguese) to the first international participant in its Adult Cardiac Surgery Database – the Department of Cardiac Surgery at TotalCor Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil. While STS is aware that many other countries maintain their own robust databases, interest in the STS National Database has been strong in the international community, and the Society is broadening the scope of the Database in hopes of improving patient outcomes worldwide.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to make the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database even better than it is,” said John D. Puskas, MD, Chair of the STS National Database International Relations Task Force. “Fewer than 10 percent of adult cardiac surgery centers in the world, outside of the U.S., participate in a Database. There are so many benefits to international expansion; heart centers across the world have begun investigating participation. I think that eventually we may even have to change the name to the STS International Database.”

Before expanding the Database outside of the U.S., the Society had to ensure that international Database participants could be accommodated on key aspects of data collection and assimilated into data harvests and the data analysis process. Once those systems were in place, STS offered the international cardiothoracic surgical community the opportunity to participate in the premier clinical data registry for adult cardiac surgery. Outcomes data from international participants will not be combined with data from U.S. and Canadian participants, but international data will be analyzed and risk-adjusted based on North American risk models.

In an AQO presentation titled “International Database Initiatives,” Dr. Puskas spoke enthusiastically about international participation in the Database.

“I believe that the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database is one of the most important databases on earth – I think it is one of the greatest achievements of cardiothoracic surgery,” Dr. Puskas said. “Through international expansion, we can empower new areas of quality improvement, particularly in regions where no database currently exists.”

Dr. Puskas sees global expansion enhancing international benchmarking, empowering new areas of research, and allowing cardiothoracic surgeons to study patterns of care among different populations.

In order to participate, international contributors must use STS Certified Software™ for data collection and submission, and all clinical source documents and data abstraction files must be submitted in English. Participants are required to submit accurate and complete data (consecutive cases) for each relevant harvest period. In order to ensure high-quality compliance, STS encourages participating centers to appoint a primary data manager.

“It is well recognized that STS has the most elaborate and impressive Database, presenting users with a huge amount of data regarding cardiovascular surgery,” said TotalCor’s Executive Director Valter Furlan, MD. “It is a great pleasure to take part in this Database and to compare our results with the enormous amount of data from cardiac surgeries performed abroad. Our primary goal in this new initiative is to learn from our colleagues the best practices in terms of quality and safety for our patients.”

For more information about international participation in the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, please contact Bianca Reyes, STS Manager of Database Development, at breyes [at] sts [dot] org or (312) 202-5839.