Outcome Management in Cardiac Surgery Using the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database

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Abstract

Health care reform has helped streamline patient care and reimbursement by encouraging providers to provide the best outcome for the best value. Institutions with cardiac surgery programs need a methodology to monitor and improve outcomes linked to reimbursement. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database (STSND) is a tool for monitoring outcomes and improving care. This article identifies the purpose, goals, and reporting system of the STSND and ways these data can be used for benchmarking, linking outcomes to the effectiveness of treatment, and identifying factors associated with mortality and complications. We explain the methodology used at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, Falls Church, Virginia, to perform outcome management by using the STSND and address our performance-improvement cycle through discussion of data collection, analysis, and outcome reporting. We focus on the revision of clinical practice and offer examples of how patient outcomes have been improved using this methodology.

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