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National Voluntary Consensus Standards for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery: A Consensus Report 

Date of Publication:
DEC 2011
Associated Project:
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
Heart defects are among the most common birth defects and are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths in the United States. Each year, about 35,000 infants (1 out of every 125) are born with heart defects. Quality improvement strategies must be aimed not only at further reduction of mortality but also at efficient use of resources and reduction of morbidities to the maximum extent possible. Performance measurement for healthcare quality reporting and improvement has to date focused largely on the adult population, but interest and momentum are growing to include pediatric measures in these efforts. The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed measures specific to adult cardiac surgery, pediatric heart surgery volume, and pediatric heart surgery mortality. Quality improvement strategies for pediatric cardiac surgery will benefit from specific measures aimed at further reduction of mortality, efficient use of resources, and reduction of morbidities. These goals are also directly aligned with the National Quality Strategy.In an effort to understand the full implications of measurement in this population, NQF convened the 12-member Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Committee to evaluate measures and to make recommendations across the spectrum of pediatric cardiac surgery.