A collaboration between the European Society of Thoracic Surgery (ESTS) and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) will aim to improve the quality of patient care by linking outcomes data on chest procedures, including lung cancer surgery.

According to a Society of Thoracic Surgeons news release, the project will use data from the STS General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD) and the ESTS Database. The GTSD is one of three components of the STS National Database and the ESTS Database was created as a joint activity with the  European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.

The STS news release indicates that the first task for the groups was to standardize the terminology utilized within their respective databases. Alessandro Brunelli, MD, says, “That task represents a huge undertaking because it requires setting up a common language regarding collection of clinical information.” Brunelli adds, “By establishing a common language, we are combining our experiences to better understand each other’s processes and outcomes, which will foster clinical research collaboration across the continents and disseminate important findings faster.”

Felix G. Fernandez, MD, who is leading the effort with Brunelli, states, “This project is particularly important in a specialty like thoracic surgery because we are a small community compared to other larger specialties. Increasing the pool of patient data on which to perform in-depth analyses is the only way we will be able to reliably assess our practices and produce robust guidelines to improve patient care and outcomes.”

Fernandez says, “Our hope is that this collaboration will help identify best practices in lung cancer care in the US and Europe for better patient care worldwide. This collaboration has the potential to serve as an exemplar for global standardization of data collection.”

Source: Society of Thoracic Surgeons