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

March/April 2019


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Data Collection Updates
The latest training manual (v2.41) published on the General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD) Data Collection page contains important information to help with data abstraction. Recent key changes are noted below.

  • Several questions have been fielded regarding the meaning of direct invasion for Lung Cancer - Invasion of Adjacent Structures. It means direct invasion of a tumor into an adjacent structure. For clinical staging this would involve radiographic evidence that the tumor is destroying or invading an adjacent, non-pulmonary structure. Please see the update for additional information. (SEQ. 1870)
  • All complications / post-operative events should be captured for each case. The GTSD risk model is an all or none model; complications are not tallied or delineated within the risk model. Therefore it must be noted whether a patient has or does not have complications.

Data Harvests 
The Fall 2019 Harvest begins April 1 and closes at 5:00 p.m. EST on September 20, 2019. This submission will include surgery dates from January 1, 2016, through June 30, 2019. Please submit data no later than 1 week before the closing date if you want a Data Quality Report in time to submit changes. See more details in 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; use the 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.

Lung Cancer Surgery Information 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. Recently, pages were added on Before Lung Cancer Surgery, Day of Lung Cancer Surgery, and After Lung Cancer Surgery to explain what patients can expect leading up to a procedure, what occurs during the operation, and how to manage pain and complications in the days and weeks afterward. 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.