Background: Vascular surgery is an ideal specialty for developing a shared database, because outcomes measures are precise, national standards have been established, and vascular surgeons have traditionally collected data. Study Design: A questionnaire of database experience and needs was developed, reviewed by a Western Vascular Society advisory committee, and sent to Western Vascular Society and Rocky Mountain Vascular Surgical Society members. Additionally, we obtained software from existing commercial vascular databases. Results: We had a 57% response from 196 surveys: 36% of vascular surgeons have functional vascular databases, which have been used from 1 to 26 years and contain 71 to 15,000 patients. Databases are used for research, quality control, and billing. Time (38%), expense (19%), and expertise (8%) preclude database use. Of physicians without a database, 17% had used 1 previously, and 89% would like 1. Sixty percent of physicians are unwilling to spend more than 5 minutes on data entry, unless forced to do so for reimbursement or to maintain hospital privileges. Seventy-three percent believe it is more important to control data-entry time than number of variables; 98% are willing to share Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant data; 82% have interest in a handheld data-entry system. Thirty-nine percent are willing to spend $1,000 for the initial database, and 88% are willing to spend $500 per year on maintenance. Conclusions: Vascular surgeons have interest and experience with databases, although some have discontinued use. If databases have short entry times, limited costs, permit portable data entry, and allow data sharing, most vascular surgeons are enthusiastic about collecting clinical outcomes data.
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