STS National Database
The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. There are three components to the STS National Database, each focusing on a different area of cardiothoracic surgery—Adult Cardiac, General Thoracic, and Congenital Heart Surgery, with the availability of Anesthesiology participation within the Congenital Heart Surgery Database. The Database has grown exponentially over the years, both in terms of participation and stature.
The component Databases provide opportunities for quality improvement to their participants. The Society has developed quality performance measures in all three sub-specialties of surgery, 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 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.
The Database continues to expand with new initiatives. Launched in January 2011, STS Public Reporting Online enables Database participants to voluntarily report to the public their heart bypass surgery performance. Overall composite star ratings as well as their component ratings are listed on sts.org for more than 250 Database participants. The Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, now containing more than 4.5 million surgical records, represents an estimated 94 percent of all adult cardiac surgery centers across the U.S. With the success of participation nationally, STS launched in 2011 an initiative to accommodate Database participation worldwide by including international participants in the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database.