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Haut ER, Lau BD, Kraus PS, et al. Preventability of Hospital-Acquired Venous Thromboembolism. JAMA Surg. 2015;150(9):912–915. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.1340
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common, largely preventable condition. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that VTE prophylaxis is among the top-10 strongly suggested practices for improving patient safety.1 Although optimal VTE prevention requires both prescription and administration of prophylactic medications, to date, most attempts to improve care have focused predominantly on medication prescription.2
National bodies (eg, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and regional entities (eg, the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission) impose financial penalties for hospitalized patients developing VTE despite evidence that not all events are preventable, even with prophylaxis.3 Publicly reported measures from both The Joint Commission’s Core Measures and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare report whether a patient received at least 1 dose of VTE prophylaxis within the first day of hospitalization, rather than considering all prescribed and administered doses for the entire hospitalization.4
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