A program to collect and analyze cardiac catheterization, electrophysiologic studies and cardiac operations in children was initiated in 1982. The purpose was to help centers compare their experience and outcomes with a group of centers to determine areas where their performance might improve. Cardiac centers became members of the Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium and submitted demographic data and copies of procedure reports regularly to a central office. Data were extracted from the reports, coded by trained coders and entered into a computer database. Annually, the data were analyzed to compare the experience of an individual center with that of the entire group of centers. The annual data were adjusted for severity on the basis of eight factors selected after discussion with participants in the Consortium. Adjustment was by multivariate analysis. Reports were prepared for each center and distributed at an annual meeting. The data were used by centers to review operations where the mortality rate exceeded +2 standard deviations of the group. With discussion, the center staff often initiated changes to improve outcome. The outcome could then be monitored by the annual reports. Our data were also utilized in the creation of the Risk Adjustment for Surgery for Congenital Heart Disease (RACHS)-1 categories of disease severity. The mortality rates of our centers were comparable with the combined hospital discharge data from New York, Massachusetts, and California. From 1982 through 2007, the mortality rates of our centers dropped for each RACHS-1 category, falling to less than 1% for categories 1 and 2 for the last 5-year period. During the 25 years, we received data from 52 centers about 137654 patients who underwent 117756 cardiac operations.
- Congenital Heart Disease