A collaboration between The European Society of Thoracic Surgery (ESTS) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) will improve the quality of patient care by joining general thoracic surgery databases. Based on the best clinical evidence, this collaboration aims to overcome current discrepancies in existing terminology and definitions in order to facilitate future endeavours.
The special report entitled “The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and The European Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery Databases: Joint Standardization of Variable Definitions and Terminology”, was recently published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
In a recent news release, Felix G. Fernandez, MD, from Emory University, said, “Our hope is that this collaboration will help identify best practices in lung cancer care in the US and Europe for better patient care worldwide. This collaboration has the potential to serve as an exemplar for global standardization of data collection.”
Data will be retrieved from the ESTS database and the STS Surgery Database (GTSD), and risk adjustments will take into account outcomes such as patients’ age and existing health problems, to ease surgeon’s routine and to identify the best clinical procedure for each patient.
Alessandro Brunelli, MD, from St James’s University Hospital in Leeds, England noted that the first task of the working group will be to overcome discrepancies in terminology and definitions.“That task represents a huge undertaking because it requires setting up a common language regarding collection of clinical information,” he explained.
“By establishing a common language, we are combining our experiences to better understand each other’s processes and outcomes, which will foster clinical research collaboration across the continents and disseminate important findings faster”, added Dr. Fernandez.
The group met in Fort Lauderdale in 2012 during the STS annual meeting to discuss and collaborate on this subject. At the moment, the working group is analysing patterns of care and outcomes for lung cancer surgery. Results will be presented during the STS 51st Annual Meeting to be held in the present month, in San Diego.
“This project is particularly important in a specialty like thoracic surgery because we are a small community compared to other larger specialties. Increasing the pool of patient data on which to perform in-depth analyses is the only way we will be able to reliably assess our practices and produce robust guidelines to improve patient care and outcomes,” stated Dr. Brunelli. “Future collaboration and integration of our two databases could generate significant new knowledge and has the potential to boost quality of care initiatives on both continents.”