HA-VTE prevention champions recognized by CDC


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized eight hospitals and healthcare systems as Healthcare-Associated Venous Thromboembolism (HA-VTE) Prevention Champions.

The title acknowledges their success in implementing innovative and effective ways to prevent venous thromboembolism in healthcare settings.

Estimates suggest that up to 900,000 VTE events occur in the US each year, resulting in as many as 100,000 premature deaths. VTE-associated healthcare costs may be as high as $10 billion a year.

People who are currently or recently hospitalized, recovering from surgery, or being treated for cancer are at increased risk for developing these deadly blood clots. About half of all VTE events are related to hospitalization or surgery.

“Healthcare-associated VTE is a serious and growing public health problem,” said CDC director Dr Thomas Frieden. “These challenge winners saved lives by implementing innovative VTE prevention strategies in their institutions.  We can all learn from their ideas and work together to protect patients from developing deadly blood clots.”

The champions range from a small community hospital to some of the country's largest health systems, and they represent both rural and urban areas. Together they cared for more than 450,000 patients admitted to hospitals across the United States in 2014. They were able to improve VTE prevention within their institutions and organizations by implementing innovative, effective and sustainable VTE prevention strategies, including engaging teams of different healthcare experts  to support and promote prevention activities; informing patients and providers about the need for and benefits of VTE prevention; and using technology (such as electronic risk assessment and clinical decision support tools and alerts) to ensure that all patients are assessed for their risk for VTE and bleeding.

These tools also help ensure patients, when appropriate, are provided with and use appropriate prevention measures for their level of risk. Providing real-time feedback, scorecards and dashboards for providers and organizations to monitor performance and identify areas for improvement is another key strategy.

The HA-VTE Prevention Challenge was launched on November 2, 2015, to find and reward hospitals, managed care organizations and hospital networks that implemented innovative and effective ways to prevent HA-VTE. CDC, along with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is sharing these best practices with others to help strengthen VTE prevention efforts.

“We, along with AHRQ, are excited to showcase the innovative and effective strategies of this inaugural challenge,” said Dr Coleen Boyle, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “These challenge winners are examples of how any healthcare setting, from a small hospital to a large healthcare system, can implement approaches to protect people and save lives from healthcare-associated VTE.”

The HA-VTE Prevention Challenge Champions are: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; University of California Health, Center for Health Quality and Innovation, Oakland, California; University of Wisconsin Health, Madison, Wisconsin; Intermountain Healthcare, Murray, Utah; Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois; The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland; Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington; and Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Hutchinson, Kansas.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HA-VTE Prevention Champions, Healthcare, Dr Thomas Frieden, Dr Coleen Boyle, US