This review includes a brief discussion, from the perspective of the pediatric cardiologist, of the rationale for creation and maintenance of multi-institutional databases of outcomes of the treatment of patients with congenital and paediatric cardiac disease, together with a history of the evolution of such databases, and a description of the current state of the art. A number of projects designed to have broad-based impact are currently in the design phase, or have already been implemented. Not surprisingly, most of the efforts thus far have focused on catheterization procedures and interventions, although some work examining other aspects of paediatric cardiology practice is also beginning. This review briefly describes several European and North American initiatives related to databases for pediatric and congenital cardiology including the Central Cardiac Audit Database of the United Kingdom, national database initiatives for pediatric cardiology in Switzerland and Germany, various database initiatives under the leadership of the Working Groups of The Association for European Paediatric Cardiology, the IMPACT Registry (IMproving Pediatric and Adult Congenital Treatment) of the National Cardiovascular Data Registry of The American College of Cardiology Foundation and The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the Mid-Atlantic Group of Interventional Cardiology (MAGIC) Catheterization Outcomes Project, the Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Project on Outcomes (C3PO), the Congenital Cardiovascular Interventional Study Consortium (CCISC), and the Joint Council on Congenital Heart Disease (JCCHD) National Quality Improvement Initiative. These projects, each leveraging multicentre data and collaboration, demonstrate the enormous progress that has occurred over the last several years to improve the quality and consistency of information about nonsurgical treatment for congenital cardiac disease. The paediatric cardiology field is well-poised to move quickly beyond outcome assessment and benchmarking, to collaborative quality improvement.