Uses and limitations of registry and academic databases

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg Pediatr Card Surg Annu. 2010;13(1):66-70. doi: 10.1053/j.pcsu.2010.02.007.


A database is simply a structured collection of information. A clinical database may be a Registry (a limited amount of data for every patient undergoing heart surgery) or Academic (an organized and extensive dataset of an inception cohort of carefully selected subset of patients). A registry and an academic database have different purposes and cost. The data to be collected for a database is defined by its purpose and the output reports required for achieving that purpose. A Registry's purpose is to ensure quality care, an Academic Database, to discover new knowledge through research. A database is only as good as the data it contains. Database personnel must be exceptionally committed and supported by clinical faculty. A system to routinely validate and verify data integrity is essential to ensure database utility. Frequent use of the database improves its accuracy. For congenital heart surgeons, routine use of a Registry Database is an essential component of clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • Cardiology
  • Databases, Factual* / standards
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Humans
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Registries* / standards