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Invited Commentary
June 2015

The Controversy Surrounding Surgical Care Improvement Project–Venous Thromboembolism Process Measures

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(6):527-528. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.51

Holcomb and coauthors1 have nicely described a large series of noncardiovascular patients undergoing surgery in the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2006 to 2009 in which “inpatient” and “outpatient” deep venous thrombosis rates were determined based on inpatient surveillance. This study1 serves as a follow-up on an earlier study in which Altom et al2 documented several important risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) but no association with adherence to Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP)–VTE process measures. Not surprisingly, in the study by Holcomb et al,1 there was a positive correlation between inpatient surveillance and inpatient VTEs (R = 0.33, P = .003). Interestingly and importantly, however, there was no significant correlation between inpatient surveillance and either postdischarge surveillance or postdischarge VTE rates.