Principles learned from a successful improvement program can increase compliance and reduce hospital acquired VTEs (HA-VTEs) across multiple institutions



CLINICAL QUESTION: Can a single institution’s VTE prophylaxis program be scaled to increase prophylaxis and reduce HA-VTEs across multiple institutions?

Dr. Anstett
Dr. Tyler Anstett
Background: HA-VTEs are a preventable cause of avoidable harm. Despite recommendations and use as a quality benchmark, inpatient VTE prophylaxis is suboptimal. By implementing a quality improvement program, the University of California, San Diego increased VTE prophylaxis and reduced the number of HA-VTEs.

STUDY DESIGN: prospective, unblinded, open-intervention study

SETTING: Inpatient medical and surgical services at five independent, cooperating academic hospitals

SYNOPSIS: Each site used common principles to develop their own multi-pronged VTE prophylaxis program including structured order-sets, simplified risk-assessment, feedback to providers, and education programs.

306,906 inpatient discharges were evaluated with average VTE prophylaxis bundle compliance reaching 89% across all institutions. HA-VTE rates declined from 0.90% to 0.69% (RR, 0.76; CI, 0.68-0.85) – equivalent to averting 81 pulmonary emboli and 89 deep venous thrombi. Of note, HA-VTE rates only declined at three of the five institutions with the greatest improvement at those with the highest baseline rates. Further, while HA-VTE rates improved across all patient populations, the incidence reduction was statistically significant in Oncologic and Surgical populations.

BOTTOM LINE: Hospital systems can reduce HA-VTE and increase VTE prophylaxis by implementing a bundle of interventions and these efforts are highest yield for Oncologic and Surgical populations.

CITATIONS: Jenkins IH, White RH, Amin AN, et al. Reducing the incidence of hospital-associated venous thromboembolism within a network of academic hospitals: findings from five University of California medical centers. J Hosp Med. 2016;11:S22-8.


Dr. Anstett is Hospital Medicine Fellow in Quality and Systems Leadership, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora.

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