The growth in large-scale data management capabilities and the successful care of patients with congenital heart defects have coincidentally paralleled each other for the last three decades, and participation in multicenter congenital heart disease databases and registries is now a fundamental component of cardiac care. This manuscript attempts for the first time to consolidate in one location all of the relevant databases worldwide, including target populations, specialties, Web sites, and participation information. Since at least 1,992 cardiac surgeons and cardiologists began leveraging this burgeoning technology to create multi-institutional data collections addressing a variety of specialties within this field. Pediatric heart diseases are particularly well suited to this methodology because each individual care location has access to only a relatively limited number of diagnoses and procedures in any given calendar year. Combining multiple institutions data therefore allows for a far more accurate contemporaneous assessment of treatment modalities and adverse outcomes. Additionally, the data can be used to develop outcome benchmarks by which individual institutions can measure their progress against the field as a whole and focus quality improvement efforts in a more directed fashion, and there is increasing utilization combining clinical research efforts within existing data structures. Efforts are ongoing to support better collaboration and integration across data sets, to improve efficiency, further the utility of the data collection infrastructure and information collected, and to enhance return on investment for participating institutions.
Keywords: congenital heart disease (CHD); congenital heart surgery; database (all types); morbidity); outcomes (includes mortality.