Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Meet SPHPM’s cardiac surgery registry overseer Lavinia Tran

SPHPM currently operates over 20 clinical registries, making it the largest Clinical Registries Program in Australia. This week we bring you a special feature on the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) National Cardiac Surgery Registry run by the Centre of Cardiovascular Research & Education in Therapeutics (CCRET) here at SPHPM. Research Fellow Lavinia Tran works with the CCRET and manages the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgery Registry.

Q: What's the registry you are involved in and what work does it undertake?
A: I am the program manager for the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgery Database Program (ANZSCTS – Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons). The Program collects clinical and surgical data on adult patients who undergo cardiac (heart) surgery across Australia and monitors unit and surgeon performance.

Q: What is your background and your role in the registry?
A: I’m the Program Manager for the ANZSCTS Database. I have a BBioMedSc (Hons) degree and I did my PhD training in clinical pharmacology in heart failure under the late Professor Henry Krum at Monash University.

Q: Can you explain how the process works for collecting data for this registry?
A: ANZSCTS relies on the site for data collection. Each site has a Data Manager appointed, responsible for the final data entry and verification of cases, but many other roles within the hospital contribute information to the case report form, including surgeons, perfusionists and medical registrars.

Most sites choose to collect their initial data on a paper case report form, then transfer this information electronically via our registry website. A few sites have their own inbuilt database that has been customised to provide the data to us directly via a data upload, which eliminates this “double data entry” step.

Q: How does a person get on a registry like this?
A: ANZSCTS has specific inclusion criteria to include any patient undergoing cardiac surgery (such as Coronary Artery Bypass Graft or Valve surgery). Other types of thoracic surgery where the patient is on cardiopulmonary bypass are also included.

Q: What will this data mean for public health, patients, best practice and future treatment?
A: With quarterly and annual reporting and benchmarking, we are constantly informing our sites of their performance, comparing between the 27 sites contributing. They also have instant access to summaries of their unit data via our registry website. Sites use their data to generating reports that assist them in better understanding their practices so that patient care is ultimately improved.

Q: How do other clinician and researchers contribute to the registry? What functions do they play?
A: The ANZSCTS database program is unique in its close link with the ANZSCTS society itself. We are able to utilise this by being informed directly from the ANZSCTS society members as to what they would like to get out of the registry to better improve their practices. Clinicians sit on our Steering Committee and are able to shape the reports and feedback we provide to our sites to make them more useful.

ANZSCTS also has a strong research program. This is closely monitored by a Research Committee and enable the use of 15 years’ worth of cardiac surgery data to further cardiac surgery research, and ultimately inform practices for the better care for cardiac surgery patients.

Q: What is the current status of the registry?
A: The ANZSCTS database project is in its 15th year and it is still growing and changing. We are set to move to a new online platform for data entry, making it easier for data managers enter their data and to extract it from the system.

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