STS National Database Launches General Thoracic Public Reporting

STS News, Winter 2017 -- With the launch of public reporting for the General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD), the STS National Database is giving general thoracic surgeons the same opportunity to display their commitment to transparency and quality improvement as their adult cardiac and congenital heart surgery colleagues have had.

Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD) participants have been able to publicly report their outcomes since 2010, growing from 226 consenting programs for the first data release to 607 for this month’s release. Public reporting for Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD) participants started in 2015.

This year, GTSD participants will be able to join the effort and publicly report their lobectomy outcomes.

“Public reporting of surgical outcomes is becoming a routine expectation for patients, payers, and other stakeholders. STS has done a tremendous job of establishing a transparent and sound methodology for public reporting in the ACSD and CHSD, and general thoracic surgery is very excited to join this effort,” said Benjamin D. Kozower, MD, Chair of the GTSD Task Force.

For the first stage of GTSD public reporting, a listing of all active participating institutions in the GTSD as of October 31, 2016, will be published on the STS website; individual participant surgeons at each institution also will be named. Additionally, STS will publish the discharge mortality and median postoperative length of stay for lobectomy for all GTSD participants as a group and compare those numbers to corresponding figures from the National Inpatient Sample, which is the largest, all-payer inpatient database available in the United States.

Plans also are under way to publicly report participant-level outcomes for lobectomy compared to STS and national outcomes later this summer. Discharge mortality, median postoperative length of stay, and a two-domain lobectomy composite measure (including risk-adjusted mortality and major complications) will be reported for consenting programs.

"STS has done a tremendous job of establishing a transparent and sound methodology for public reporting in the ACSD and CHSD, and general thoracic surgery is very excited to join this effort."

Benjamin D. Kozower, MD

"The GTSD is different from the other two component databases in two important ways. First, we have much lower penetrance, meaning that we only capture or represent about 50% of the lung and esophageal cancer resections being performed in the country," Dr. Kozower said. "Second, our outcomes are better than national benchmarks. Therefore, we want to continue the push for transparent reporting, while not disadvantaging an STS participant that may be a two-star program—expected performance in the Database—but still performs above national benchmarks."

GTSD participants can opt in to publicly report their outcomes by signing a consent form. You also can get more information at the STS booth (#533) in the Exhibit Hall at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Houston, January 21-25. Completed consent forms for all three Database components are due from new public reporters by March 13, 2017, for inclusion in the summer data release.

“This is an iterative process,” Dr. Kozower added. “As our long-term outcomes, like 5-year survival, mature and we move toward adding patient-reported outcomes, our ability to improve the public reporting effort will grow.”

If you have questions regarding GTSD public reporting, contact Sydney Clinton, Quality Metrics and Initiatives Coordinator, at Sydney Clinton. To view a webinar on STS Public Reporting, visit

Toolkit Available to Promote Public Reporting Participation

STS has developed a toolkit for Database participants wishing to promote their ratings to the public. The toolkit contains answers to frequently asked questions about STS, the Database, and the public reporting process, sample press releases, and quotes from STS leaders that may be used in press releases. View the toolkit at, and contact Jennifer Bagley, Media Relations Manager, at Jennifer Bagley with any questions.