STS National Database News: ACSD Edition, March/April 2019

March/April 2019

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Surgeon-Specific Feedback
The Society is offering a new opportunity for self-assessment and quality improvement for surgeons participating in the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD)—a surgeon-specific composite outcomes report. These reports are only for those surgeons who opt in and will include data on coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement (AVR), CABG+AVR, mitral valve repair and replacement (MVRR), and CABG+MVRR. In order to participate, a surgeon must complete an Online Election Form. The first reports will be available this fall. 
Four STS leaders, Drs. Richard Prager, David M. Shahian, Alan M. Speir, and Domenico Pagano, recently discussed the importance of this initiative and how it will lead to better patient care. View their discussion as a video on the Society’s YouTube Channel or listen to the audio on the STS Surgical Hot Topics podcast.

Data Collection Updates
The latest training manual (v2.9) published on the ACSD Data Collection page contains important information to help with data abstraction. Recent key changes to the data specifications are noted below.

  • Data from bedside spirometry can now be entered to quantify chronic lung disease even if the results were not interpreted by a pulmonologist. Please make this adjustment starting with cases beginning on January 1, 2019. (SEQ 405) 
  • The carotid stenosis field should be left blank for carotid dissections unless the internal carotid artery is totally occluded as a result of the dissection. For cases where dissection results in occlusion, please submit details to the FAQ Mailbox for clarification/verification. (SEQ 525)   
  • New valves that are not on the Valve/VAD list will be added with the next ACSD version upgrade. Until that time, please enter "Other FDA Approved" or "Other Non-FDA Approved" as appropriate and capture the Unique Device Identifier (UDI). 

Data Harvests
Submission 2 for 2019 opened on March 11 and will close on May 24, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. EST. This submission includes surgery dates through March 31, 2019. Please submit your data no later than 1 week before the closing date if you want a Data Quality Report in time to submit changes. Reports from Submission 1 should be posted by the end of April. See more details on the 2019 harvest schedule

Site Audits Begin Soon
STS National Database audits are designed to complement internal quality controls by examining the accuracy, consistency, and completeness of the data collected within the Database. Ten percent of participating sites will be selected at random for an independent audit and will be notified in the spring. Please make sure your Primary Data and File Contact information is current by checking the DCRI portal; fill out a Participant Contact Form if you need to make changes. Logistics pertaining to the audit will be sent at a later date to the affected sites.

Volunteer to Be a Database Mentor
Mentors are still needed for the STS National Database Mentorship Program. This program will pair experienced data managers with those who are seeking advice related to data abstraction. Sign up as a mentor today

Save the Date
The 2019 Advances in Quality & Outcomes (AQO) Meeting is scheduled for October 23-25 in New Orleans. Data managers and STS National Database participants are encouraged to begin thinking about quality improvement projects that can be completed over the next few months so that the results can be submitted as abstracts. Abstract submission begins this spring. If you are interested in being a presenter or helping plan AQO, please contact Emily Conrad.

LVAD Information Available for Patients
The Society’s patient website,, provides easily understandable information on cardiothoracic diseases and how they are treated using text, videos, graphics, and animations. The Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) page explains how the device works, who can receive it, the risks involved, and what life is like after LVAD implantation. If you interact with patients at your institution, make sure to share this important resource—handouts are available for download in both English and Spanish. If you have feedback or questions about the patient website, contact Jennifer Bagley.