STS National Database News: ACSD Edition, November/December 2018

November/December 2018

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Updated Risk Calculator Posted Online
STS has released an updated short-term risk calculator to reflect the latest 2018 adult cardiac surgery risk models, as described in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery (Part 1—Background, Design Considerations, and Model Development and Part 2—Statistical Methods and Results). As a result of the update, you may see slightly different risk estimates, since the new models contain additional variables that have better discrimination (c-indices). Step-by-step instructions have been prepared to guide you and members of your cardiothoracic surgery team on how to use the new risk calculator. Please remember that the risk estimated by the calculator is only one of many considerations in the shared decision-making process for each patient. If you have technical issues with the calculator, contact; all other questions can be sent to Carole Krohn.

Data Submission Deadline Approaches
Data submission for Harvest 4 closes next Wednesday, December 5. Please ensure that all data for the January 1, 2016, through September 30, 2018, reporting period is entered by this date. The 2019 harvest schedule also is now available. 

As a reminder, you must use the new username and password for the data submission portal starting this Saturday, December 1. The updated login information was sent yesterday to all Primary and Backup Data and File Contacts, as well as Data Quality Report Recipients. If you have questions, contact your Data Submission Coordinator.

Register for the STS Annual Meeting
Registration and housing are open for the STS 55th Annual Meeting, January 27-29 in San Diego, California. A number of presentations and sessions will focus on teamwork in cardiothoracic surgery, quality improvement, patient safety, and the STS National Database, including:

  • Richard E. Clark Memorial Papers
  • The Multidisciplinary Team: How We Do It
  • Research Using the STS National Database
  • Quality Improvement in Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Patient Safety Symposium: Innovation and Safety in the Digital Era—From EHRs to Cybersecurity

Check out the Program, Registration, and Housing brochure for more details, and register today. The deadline to receive the special STS rate at official meeting hotels is Thursday, January 3.

Webinar Available for ACSD Dashboard
Visit the Data Manager Education webpage for a new tutorial on how to use the ACSD online reporting dashboard. Find out how to filter data by procedure or date range, access the report overview, download your data, and more. If you have additional questions about the dashboard, contact or 919-668-8916.

Pre-Order AQO Online 
If you weren’t able to attend the recent Advances in Quality & Outcomes (AQO): A Data Managers Meeting in Hollywood, you can still experience the exceptional content delivered during the meeting by purchasing AQO Online. Pre-order just the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database sessions or a complete set. New for 2018, AQO Online includes the ability to earn CE or CEU credit. Note: Meeting attendees will be given free online access to the sessions for which they were registered. For more information, contact Emily Conrad.

Also, don’t miss this video of STS President Keith S. Naunheim, MD welcoming attendees to AQO. He emphasized how data manager contributions are important to the quality of the STS National Database and highlighted STS resources for data collection. You can see photos from the meeting in the Society’s flickr album.

New Tips/Clarifications Added to Training Manual
The following topics were discussed at AQO, and clarifications have been added to the most recent version of the training manual to address questions that came up.

  • Hemodynamics/Echo: This section of the manual has been updated with detailed information regarding capturing hemodynamic results. 
  • Urgent/Emergent Reasons: The Urgent/Emergent Reason (Seq. 1990) is patient-specific and needs to be taken from the physician’s notes; it is not always the same as the reason for presentation at the time of admission or surgery (Seq. 895/900). 
  • Transferred Patient: A patient should be coded as “in hospital, alive” until the patient is discharged from the acute care/inpatient hospital setting. This includes any subsequent transfers following initial hospitalization where the patient remains at inpatient status. Data for Postoperative (Section O), Postoperative Events (Section P), and Discharge/Mortality (Section Q) should be captured. 
  • Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs): Temporary VADs inserted in conjunction with cardiovascular surgery should be captured with the associated procedure. If durable or standalone VADs are not used in conjunction with a cardiovascular procedure, they do not need to be entered into the ACSD but should be included in the STS Intermacs Database. Each site can decide whether to enter all durable/standalone and temporary VADs into the ACSD.

If you’re feeling stumped on an abstraction question, review the list of frequently asked questions and answers to see if someone else has had the same issue. If you have a question that you’d like answered, fill out the Clinical Question Request Form.

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