This review includes a brief discussion, from the perspective of cardiac surgeons, of the rationale for creation and maintenance of multi-institutional databases of outcomes of congenital heart surgery, together with a history of the evolution of such databases, a description of the current state of the art, and a discussion of areas for improvement and future expansion of the concept. Five fundamental areas are reviewed: nomenclature, mechanism of data collection and storage, mechanisms for the evaluation and comparison of the complexity of operations and stratification of risk, mechanisms to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the data, and mechanisms for expansion of the current capabilities of databases to include comparison and sharing of data between medical subspecialties. This review briefly describes several European and North American initiatives related to databases for pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery the Congenital Database of The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, the Congenital Database of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium, and the Central Cardiac Audit Database in the United Kingdom. Potential means of approaching the ultimate goal of acquisition of long-term follow-up data, and input of this data over the life of the patient, are also considered.
- Congenital heart disease
- patient safety
- quality improvement
- surgical outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine