The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The STS National Database has four components, each focusing on a different area of cardiothoracic surgery—Adult Cardiac Surgery, General Thoracic Surgery, and Congenital Heart Surgery, as well as mechanical circulatory support via the Intermacs Database. The STS National Database has grown exponentially over the years, both in terms of participation and stature.
In April 2019, the Society announced that the Next Generation STS National Database would launch in January 2020.
The component Databases provide participants with opportunities for quality improvement. The Society has developed quality performance measures in all three cardiothoracic surgery subspecialties, and these measures have either been endorsed or are in the process of being considered for endorsement by the National Quality Forum. By collecting outcomes data for submission to the STS National Database, surgeons are committing to improving the quality of care that their cardiothoracic surgery patients receive.
The STS National Database, a Qualified Clinical Data Registry for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, can report quality measures on behalf of individual surgeons participating in the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database.
STS Public Reporting Online enables Database participants to voluntarily report their performance to the public. Overall composite star ratings, as well as component ratings, are listed. Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participants can publicly report outcomes for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement (AVR), and CABG+AVR combined. Congenital Heart Surgery Database participants can publicly report observed-to-expected operative mortality ratios, and General Thoracic Surgery Database participants can publicly report lung cancer lobectomy outcomes.
The Society has partnered with the American College of Cardiology Foundation to provide the STS/ACC TVT RegistryTM, which focuses on patients undergoing aortic and mitral transcatheter valve replacement and repair procedures. This registry includes longitudinal follow-up of outcomes after hospital discharge, including vital status and quality of life.
The Database has the corollary potential to be a powerful tool for clinical research. Since its inception, more than 100 publications have been derived from Database outcomes. These studies have been published in a variety of professional journals and textbooks and have significantly advanced knowledge in cardiothoracic surgery.