Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)—the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein—and its most serious complication, pulmonary embolism (PE), together comprise the most common preventable cause of hospital-related death. Known as venous thromboembolisms (VTE), they claim an estimated 300,000 lives a year.
While knowledge of how to prevent these dangerous blood clots is abundant, studies have shown that only 28 percent to 50 percent of patients in the United States and other developed nations receive appropriate prophylaxis. In addition, many of those patients are not assessed for their risk of developing VTEs.
This is not a matter of health care providers ignoring this silent killer. The challenge is that proper VTE prevention is truly complicated, requiring significant coordination and consistent steps from several different health care professionals at various points along an episode of care. Moreover, VTE prophylaxis must be tailored to the patient’s conditions and other factors.
For a long time, Hopkins mirrored the performance of other hospitals nationwide on VTE prevention measures. In recent years, however, a multidisciplinary team organized by the Center for Innovation has found a number of ways to make it easier to perform at top levels in this key area.
Read these pages to learn more about VTE prevention, Hopkins’ solutions to this challenge, and tools and tips that you can translate back to your health care workplace.
Contact the Center for Innovation for guidance on VTE prevention.