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From the JAMA Network
July 16, 2014

The Need to Revisit VTE Quality Measures

Author Affiliations
  • 1Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center, Department of Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 3Department of Quality Strategies, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2014;312(3):286-287. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1841

Postoperative venous thromboembolism (VTE) is an important cause of surgical morbidity and mortality. Approximately 1% of all surgical patients will develop a VTE, defined as either a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), in the 30 days after an operation, but this rate can reach 6% after high-risk surgeries.1 To reduce postoperative VTE events, quality measures have been developed to drive improvement in perioperative VTE prophylaxis. As currently designed, however, these measures fail to promote optimal VTE prophylaxis due to (1) narrow patient eligibility, (2) penalties for VTE diagnosis, and (3) limited prophylaxis dosing and duration requirements.

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