Conference Coverage

EHR-guided strategy reduces postop VTE events



– Avoiding missed doses of venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis could result in a reduction in VTE rates, a speaker said at the annual clinical congress of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Matthew D. Neal Andrew Bowser/MDedge News

Dr. Matthew D. Neal

The VTE rate dropped by about one-quarter in the trauma care pathway at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) after implementation of algorithms to risk-stratify patients and guide nursing staff, said Matthew D. Neal, MD, FACS, the Roberta G. Simmons Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.

By incorporating algorithms into the electronic health record (EHR), UPMC was able to realize a “dramatic” 72% reduction in missed doses, from 4,331 missed doses in 2014 to 1,193 in 2015, Dr. Neal told attendees in a session focused on hot topics in surgical patient safety.

That decrease in missed doses has translated into a decreased rate of VTE, from an already relatively low rate of 1.5% in 2015, to 1.1% in 2017, representing a 26.7% reduction, according to data Dr. Neal shared in his podium presentation.

“This has been a sustainable event for us, largely linked to the implementation of an EHR-guided risk assessment pathway to guide the implementation of VTE prophylaxis,” he said.

The change was safe, he added, noting that, since utilization of this pathway, there have been no significant increases in the rate of bleeding events among patients who have mandatory orders.

These results corroborate those of some previous investigations, including one key study from the Johns Hopkins Hospital that described the adoption of a mandatory computerized clinical decision support tool to improve adherence to best practices for VTE prophylaxis.

After incorporation of the tool in the computerized order entry system, there was a significant increase in VTE prophylaxis, translating into a significant drop in preventable harm from VTE, from 1.0% to 0.17% (P = .04), investigators reported in JAMA Surgery.

Reducing missed doses is one of the major contributing factors to decreased VTE rates, according to Dr. Neal.

Missed doses of enoxaparin correlate with increased incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in trauma and general surgery patients, according to results of one prospective study Dr. Neal described. In that study of 202 patients, reported in JAMA Surgery, DVTs were seen in 23.5% of patients with missed doses, compared with 4.8 for patients with no missed doses (P < .01).

“We need to understand how to risk assess and how to utilize our EHR as a tool,” Dr. Neal told attendees.

Dr. Neal reported disclosures related to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, CSL Behring, Accriva Diagnostics, and Haemonetics, as well as a U.S. patent for a treatment of infectious and inflammatory disorders, and laboratory funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

SOURCE: Neal MD. Presentation at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress. 2018 Oct 25.

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