Next Generation STS National Database Launches in 2020

STS News, Summer 2019 — A major transformation is under way to the STS National Database that will change the way that participants interact with the Database, monitor performance, and use the Database for quality improvement initiatives at their own institutions.

The Society will be using a new data warehouse, IQVIA, a leading global provider of advanced technology solutions. IQVIA’s extensive track record in the health care arena, along with its transformative solutions, will provide Database participants with:

  • Cloud-based technology
  • Interactive dashboards
  • Unique insights using real-time results
  • Resource savings through streamlined data collection

The Duke Clinical Research Institute will remain an analytics center for the Database.

“We’ve been working tirelessly on this extremely important initiative for more than a year,” said STS President Robert S.D. Higgins, MD, MSHA. “We listened to participant feedback and understood that we had a huge opportunity to modernize and optimize the Database. The Society has made a substantial financial commitment and is taking the necessary steps to roll out this next generation Database in early 2020.”

Among the most important changes for the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD) will be a reduction in data fields by at least 30%.

“This reduction will save resources and make data abstraction far more manageable by removing minimally utilized fields and keeping those essential for quality improvement, risk assessment, and future analyses,” explained Vinay Badhwar, MD, chair of the STS Council on Quality, Research, and Patient Safety.

Participants in all component databases can continue working with their current software vendors, but they won’t have to—unless they want to—after January 2020. Other improvements include new staging for the General Thoracic Surgery Database and STAT category and risk model updates for the Congenital Heart Surgery Database.

“There will be something for everyone, and we look forward to vigorous beta testing and showing you the results,” said Dr. Higgins. “This is an exciting time for the specialty!”

New dashboards will be demonstrated and additional information will be shared at the Advances in Quality & Outcomes: A Data Managers Meeting, October 23-25 in New Orleans. For more information on the AQO Meeting, visit

Advanced Outcomes and Research Capabilities Also on Horizon

In addition to the new and innovative registry platform that will be offered to Database participants, the Society also is taking steps to enhance outcomes reporting and make the Database more impactful.

STS is working on several initiatives that would supplement data available in the STS National Database with longitudinal death follow-up, cause-of-death, reoperation, and socioeconomic data. These changes will enable investigators to conduct research focused on long-term outcomes on a national scale, disparities, access to care, and cost-effectiveness.

“We are on the verge of integrating National Death Index data with the Database to transform it into a powerful multiyear follow-up registry,” said Dr. Badhwar. “It would be a game changer for the specialty.”

More information on all of these new projects will be available in the coming months.