Development of a Congenital Heart Surgery Composite Quality Metric: Part 1—Conceptual Framework

Sara K. Pasquali, David M. Shahian, Sean M. O'Brien, Marshall L. Jacobs, J. William Gaynor, Jennifer C. Romano, Michael G. Gaies, Kevin D. Hill, John E. Mayer, Jeffrey P. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Current pediatric and congenital heart surgery quality measures focus on operative mortality, and numerous stakeholders are interested in more comprehensive measures. This report describes the background, rationale, and conceptual framework related to the development of the first composite quality metric in the field. Methods: A multidisciplinary panel reviewed methodology and framework related to quality measurement and several composite quality measures across adult cardiac surgery and other fields. The panel subsequently developed methodology and selected measures for a congenital heart surgery composite measure and reviewed potential advantages and limitations. Individual measures considered for potential inclusion in the composite were reviewed within the context of Donabedian's triad and the Institute of Medicine quality domains. Decisions were made through group consensus. Results: The final composite measure selected is comprised of two domains: (1) a mortality domain (operative mortality) and (2) a morbidity domain (the 6 major complications endorsed by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and Congenital Heart Surgeons Society plus cardiac arrest, and postoperative length of stay). Potential advantages include the more comprehensive view of quality compared with mortality alone and improvements in discrimination of hospital performance through increasing the number of end points. Potential limitations include the lack of longer term outcomes and challenges related to case-mix adjustment. Conclusions: We have applied and adapted conceptual framework and methodology related to composite quality measures across other fields to congenital heart surgery. The composite quality metric created is inclusive of both morbidity and mortality, and expands our view of quality in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-589
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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