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Substantial progress has been made in the standardization of nomenclature for paediatric and congenital cardiac care. In 1936, Maude Abbott published her Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease, which was the first formal attempt to classify congenital heart disease. The International Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Code (IPCCC) is now utilized worldwide and has most recently become the paediatric and congenital cardiac component of the Eleventh Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The most recent publication of the IPCCC was in 2017. This manuscript provides an updated 2021 version of the IPCCC.
The International Society for Nomenclature of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease (ISNPCHD), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), developed the paediatric and congenital cardiac nomenclature that is now within the eleventh version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). This unification of IPCCC and ICD-11 is the IPCCC ICD-11 Nomenclature and is the first time that the clinical nomenclature for paediatric and congenital cardiac care and the administrative nomenclature for paediatric and congenital cardiac care are harmonized. The resultant congenital cardiac component of ICD-11 was increased from 29 congenital cardiac codes in ICD-9 and 73 congenital cardiac codes in ICD-10 to 318 codes submitted by ISNPCHD through 2018 for incorporation into ICD-11. After these 318 terms were incorporated into ICD-11 in 2018, the WHO ICD-11 team added an additional 49 terms, some of which are acceptable legacy terms from ICD-10, while others provide greater granularity than the ISNPCHD thought was originally acceptable. Thus, the total number of paediatric and congenital cardiac terms in ICD-11 is 367. In this manuscript, we describe and review the terminology, hierarchy, and definitions of the IPCCC ICD-11 Nomenclature. This article, therefore, presents a global system of nomenclature for paediatric and congenital cardiac care that unifies clinical and administrative nomenclature.
The members of ISNPCHD realize that the nomenclature published in this manuscript will continue to evolve. The version of the IPCCC that was published in 2017 has evolved and changed, and it is now replaced by this 2021 version. In the future, ISNPCHD will again publish updated versions of IPCCC, as IPCCC continues to evolve.
This review discusses the historical aspects, current state of the art, and potential future advances in the areas of nomenclature and databases for the analysis of outcomes of treatments for patients with congenitally malformed hearts. We will consider the current state of analysis of outcomes, lay out some principles which might make it possible to achieve life-long monitoring and follow-up using our databases, and describe the next steps those involved in the care of these patients need to take in order to achieve these objectives. In order to perform meaningful multi-institutional analyses, we suggest that any database must incorporate the following six essential elements: use of a common language and nomenclature, use of an established uniform core dataset for collection of information, incorporation of a mechanism of evaluating case complexity, availability of a mechanism to assure and verify the completeness and accuracy of the data collected, collaboration between medical and surgical subspecialties, and standardised protocols for life-long follow-up.
During the 1990s, both The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons created databases to assess the outcomes of congenital cardiac surgery. Beginning in 1998, these two organizations collaborated to create the International Congenital Heart Surgery Nomenclature and Database Project. By 2000, a common nomenclature, along with a common core minimal dataset, were adopted by The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. In 2000, The International Nomenclature Committee for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease was established. This committee eventually evolved into the International Society for Nomenclature of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. The working component of this international nomenclature society has been The International Working Group for Mapping and Coding of Nomenclatures for Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, also known as the Nomenclature Working Group. By 2005, the Nomenclature Working Group crossmapped the nomenclature of the International Congenital Heart Surgery Nomenclature and Database Project of The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons with the European Paediatric Cardiac Code of the Association for European Paediatric Cardiology, and therefore created the International Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Code, which is available for free download from the internet at [http://www.IPCCC.NET].
This common nomenclature, the International Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Code, and the common minimum database data set created by the International Congenital Heart Surgery Nomenclature and Database Project, are now utilized by both The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Between 1998 and 2007 inclusive, this nomenclature and database was used by both of these two organizations to analyze outcomes of over 150,000 operations involving patients undergoing surgical treatment for congenital cardiac disease.
Two major multi-institutional efforts that have attempted to measure the complexity of congenital heart surgery are the Risk Adjustment in Congenital Heart Surgery-1 system, and the Aristotle Complexity Score. Current efforts to unify the Risk Adjustment in Congenital Heart Surgery-1 system and the Aristotle Complexity Score are in their early stages, but encouraging. Collaborative efforts involving The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons are under way to develop mechanisms to verify the completeness and accuracy of the data in the databases. Under the leadership of The MultiSocietal Database Committee for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, further collaborative efforts are ongoing between congenital and paediatric cardiac surgeons and other subspecialties, including paediatric cardiac anaesthesiologists, via The Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society, paediatric cardiac intensivists, via The Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society, and paediatric cardiologists, via the Joint Council on Congenital Heart Disease and The Association for European Paediatric Cardiology.
In finalising our review, we emphasise that analysis of outcomes must move beyond mortality, and encompass longer term follow-up, including cardiac and non cardiac morbidities, and importantly, those morbidities impacting health related quality of life. Methodologies must be implemented in these databases to allow uniform, protocol driven, and meaningful, long term follow-up.
Meaningful evaluation of quality of care must account for variations in the population of patients receiving treatment, or “case-mix”. In adult cardiac surgery, empirical clinical data, initially from tens of thousands, and more recently hundreds of thousands of operations, have been used to develop risk-models, to increase the accuracy with which the outcome of a given procedure on a given patient can be predicted, and to compare outcomes on non-identical patient groups between centres, surgeons and eras.
In the adult cardiac database of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, algorithms for risk-adjustment are based on over 1.5 million patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting and over 100,000 patients undergoing isolated replacement of the aortic valve or mitral valve. In the pediatric and congenital cardiac database of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, 61,014 operations are spread out over greater than 100 types of primary procedures. The problem of evaluating quality of care in the management of pediatric patients with cardiac diseases is very different, and in some ways a great deal more challenging, because of the smaller number of patients and the higher number of types of operations.
In the field of pediatric cardiac surgery, the importance of the quantitation of the complexity of operations centers on the fact that outcomes analysis using raw measurements of mortality, without adjustment for complexity, is inadequate. Case-mix can vary greatly from program to program. Without stratification of complexity, the analysis of outcomes for congenital cardiac surgery will be flawed. Two major multi-institutional efforts have attempted to measure the complexity of pediatric cardiac operations: the Risk Adjustment in Congenital Heart Surgery-1 method and the Aristotle Complexity Score. Both systems were derived in large part from subjective probability, or expert opinion. Both systems are currently in wide use throughout the world and have been shown to correlate reasonably well with outcome.
Efforts are underway to develop the next generation of these systems. The next generation will be based more on objective data, but will continue to utilize subjective probability where objective data is lacking. A goal, going forward, is to re-evaluate and further refine these tools so that, they can be, to a greater extent, derived from empirical data. During this process, ideally, the mortality elements of both the Aristotle Complexity Score and the Risk Adjustment in Congenital Heart Surgery-1 methodology will eventually unify and become one and the same. This review article examines these two systems of stratification of complexity and reviews the rationale for the development of each system, the current use of each system, the plans for future enhancement of each system, and the potential for unification of these two tools.
This review includes a brief discussion, from the perspective of cardiac surgeons, of the rationale for creation and maintenance of multi-institutional databases of outcomes of congenital heart surgery, together with a history of the evolution of such databases, a description of the current state of the art, and a discussion of areas for improvement and future expansion of the concept. Five fundamental areas are reviewed: nomenclature, mechanism of data collection and storage, mechanisms for the evaluation and comparison of the complexity of operations and stratification of risk, mechanisms to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the data, and mechanisms for expansion of the current capabilities of databases to include comparison and sharing of data between medical subspecialties. This review briefly describes several European and North American initiatives related to databases for pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery the Congenital Database of The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, the Congenital Database of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium, and the Central Cardiac Audit Database in the United Kingdom. Potential means of approaching the ultimate goal of acquisition of long-term follow-up data, and input of this data over the life of the patient, are also considered.
A large body of literature devoted to “patient safety” and error prevention exists and utilizes a nomenclature that can be applied specifically to the field of congenital cardiac disease and aid in the goals of increasing the safety of patients, decreasing medical error, minimizing mortality and morbidity, and evaluating quality of care. The purpose of this manuscript is to suggest and document a quality of health care taxonomy and the appropriate application of this nomenclature of “patient safety” to the specialty of congenital cardiac disease, with special emphasis on the following ten terms: morbidity, complication, medical error, adverse event, harm, near miss, iatrogenesis, iatrogenic complication, medical injury, and sentinel event. Each of these terms is commonly utilized in the medical literature without universal agreement on their meaning and relationship. It is our hope that the standardization of the definitions of these terms, as they are applied to the analysis of outcomes of the treatments applied to patients with congenital and paediatric cardiac disease, will facilitate improved methodologies to assess and improve quality of care in our profession.
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