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Reducing the incidence of hospital‐associated venous thromboembolism within a network of academic hospitals: Findings from five University of California medical centers

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Almost 700 patients suffered from hospital‐associated venous thromboembolism (HA‐VTE) across 5 University of California hospitals in calendar year 2011.

OBJECTIVE

Optimize venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis (VTEP) in adult medical/surgical inpatients and reduce HA‐VTE by at least 20% within 3 years.

DESIGN

Prospective, unblinded, open‐intervention study with historical controls.

SETTING

Five independent but cooperating academic hospitals.

PATIENTS

All adult medical and surgical inpatients with stays ≥3 days. The baseline year was 2011, 2012 to 2014 were intervention years, and year 2014 was the mature comparison period.

VTEP adequacy was assessed with structured chart review of 45 patients per month at each site via random selection beginning partway through the study. HA‐VTE was identified by discharge coding, capturing patients readmitted within 30 days of prior VTE‐free admit and VTE occurring during index admission. Cases were stratified medical versus surgical and cancer or noncancer.

INTERVENTIONS

Interventions included structured order sets with “3‐bucket” risk‐assessment, measure‐vention, techniques to improve reliable administration of VTEP, and education.

RESULTS

Adequate prophylaxis reached 89% by early 2014. The rate of HA‐VTE fell from 0.90% in 2011 to 0.69% in 2014 (24% relative risk [RR] reduction; RR: 0.76, 95% confidence interval: 0.68‐0.852), equivalent to averting 81 pulmonary emboli and 89 deep venous thrombi. VTE rates were highest in cancer and surgical patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Hospital systems can reduce HA‐VTE by implementing a bundle of active interventions including structured VTEP orders with embedded risk assessment and measure‐vention. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2016;11:S22–S28. © 2016 Society of Hospital Medicine

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