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Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg Pediatr Card Surg Annu. 2010;13(1):3-19. doi: 10.1053/j.pcsu.2010.02.003.

Congenital heart surgery databases around the world: do we need a global database?

Author information

1
The Congenital Heart Institute of Florida, All Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Tampa, and Department of Surgery, University of South Florida College of Medicine, 625 Sixth Ave. South, St Petersburg, FL 33701, USA. JeffJacobs@msn.com

Abstract

The question posed in the title of this article is: "Congenital Heart Surgery Databases Around the World: Do We Need a Global Database?" The answer to this question is "Yes and No"! Yes--we need to create a global database to track the outcomes of patients with pediatric and congenital heart disease. No--we do not need to create a new "global database." Instead, we need to create a platform that allows for the linkage of currently existing continental subspecialty databases (and continental subspecialty databases that might be created in the future) that will allow for the seamless sharing of multi-institutional longitudinal data across temporal, geographical, and subspecialty boundaries. This review article will achieve the following objectives: (A) Consider the current state of analysis of outcomes of treatments for patients with congenitally malformed hearts. (B) Present some principles that might make it possible to achieve life-long longitudinal monitoring and follow-up. (C) Describe the rationale for the creation of a Global Federated Multispecialty Congenital Heart Disease Database. (D) Propose a methodology for the creation of a Global Federated Multispecialty Congenital Heart Disease Database that is based on linking together currently existing databases without creating a new database. To perform meaningful multi-institutional analyses, any database must incorporate the following six essential elements: (1) Use of a common language and nomenclature. (2) Use of a database with an established uniform core dataset for collection of information. (3) Incorporation of a mechanism to evaluate the complexity of cases. (4) Implementation of a mechanism to assure and verify the completeness and accuracy of the data collected. (5) Collaboration between medical and surgical subspecialties. (6) Standardization of protocols for life-long longitudinal follow-up. Analysis of outcomes must move beyond recording 30-day or hospital mortality, and encompass longer-term follow-up, including cardiac and non-cardiac morbidities, and importantly, those morbidities impacting health-related quality of life. Methodologies must be implemented in our databases to allow uniform, protocol-driven, and meaningful long-term follow-up. We need to create a platform that allows for the linkage of currently existing continental subspecialty databases (and continental subspecialty databases that might be created in the future) that will allow for the seamless sharing of multi-institutional longitudinal data across temporal, geographical, and subspecialty boundaries. This "Global Federated Multispecialty Congenital Heart Disease Database" will not be a new database, but will be a platform that effortlessly links multiple databases and maintains the integrity of these extant databases. Description of outcomes requires true multi-disciplinary involvement, and should include surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists, perfusionists, neurologists, educators, primary care physicians, nurses, and physical therapists. Outcomes should determine primary therapy, and as such must be monitored life-long. The relatively small numbers of patients with congenitally malformed hearts requires multi-institutional cooperation to accomplish these goals. The creation of a Global Federated Multispecialty Congenital Heart Disease Database that links extant databases from pediatric cardiology, pediatric cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiac anesthesia, and pediatric critical care will create a platform for improving patient care, research, and teaching related to patients with congenital and pediatric cardiac disease.

PMID:
20307856
DOI:
10.1053/j.pcsu.2010.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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