The European general thoracic surgery database project
The European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) Database is a free registry created by ESTS in 2001. The current online version was launched in 2007. It runs currently on a Dendrite platform with extensive data security and frequent backups. The main features are a specialty-specific, procedure-specific, prospectively maintained, periodically audited and web-based electronic database, designed for quality control and performance monitoring, which allows for the collection of all general thoracic procedures. Data collection is the “backbone” of the ESTS database. It includes many risk factors, processes of care and outcomes, which are specially designed for quality control and performance audit. The user can download and export their own data and use them for internal analyses and quality control audits. The ESTS database represents the gold standard of clinical data collection for European General Thoracic Surgery. Over the past years, the ESTS database has achieved many accomplishments. In particular, the database hit two major milestones: it now includes more than 235 participating centers and 70,000 surgical procedures. The ESTS database is a snapshot of surgical practice that aims at improving patient care. In other words, data capture should become integral to routine patient care, with the final objective of improving quality of care within Europe.