ANZSCTS Cardiac Surgery Database Program

In 2001, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS), together with the Victorian Department of Health, developed a Program to collect data on cardiac (heart) surgery in Victorian hospitals. The program has since expanded to include sixty hospitals (public and private) across Australia and New Zealand. At present, the Program contains over 180,000 records.

The core activities of the Database Program are its quarterly peer review quality assurance process, which aims to maintain the high standard of care for cardiac surgery patients in Australia and New Zealand, and a highly active research program with 27 collaborative projects currently underway with researchers spread throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Current highlights of the research program include a linkage with the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry to explore the effects of pre- and post-operative kidney injury on cardiac surgery patient outcomes, and the application of machine learning techniques to enhance risk adjustments for different patient populations.

The Database Program also publishes annual reports describing the activities and outcomes of participating units in a comparative, non-identifiable format. These reports provide an overview of the patients who underwent surgery, the types of surgery performed, complications, and other details relating to risk and the outcomes of cardiac surgery. Outcome data is collected up to 30 days following surgery, and information on long-term survival is obtained by way of linkage with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Death Index data.

The ANZSCTS Database is currently the only compilation of cardiac surgical procedures and outcomes in Australia, and the recent inclusion of the New Zealand hospitals is indicative of its potential to be expanded internationally. The Program is continually evolving and recent enhancements include the expansion of the peer review process to include lower volume procedures, incorporation of data elements to capture COVID diagnoses and the introduction of new risk models to account for differences in patient characteristics for multiple key performance indicators.

The ANZSCTS Database public facing website is a useful resource for patients and their families, and also researchers and prospective contributors, to obtain information about the Program and its benefits to the wider community. Please use the link below to navigate the website:

Read our most recent annual report here.