Venous Thromboembolism

The toll on mortality from VTE cost the United States alone approximately $8 to 10 billion in direct medical costs each year, not including the costs of associated complications.

Approximately 50 to 60 percent of incident VTE cases are associated with a hospital stay that occurred within the past three to six months, making hospital-acquired VTE a serious problem. The current accepted guidelines are not implemented consistently, leading to continued VTEs in hospitalized patients. There is variation in the assessment of VTE risk factors across different hospital patient populations and in the selection of appropriate mechanical and/or pharmacological prophylaxis. VTE rates can be reduced with accurate and consistent risk assessment and appropriate utilization of pharmacological and/or mechanical prophylaxis. However, there are multiple barriers to consistent, successful implementation of preventative measures.

Project Team

This project utilized Robust Process Improvement®(RPI®) methodology with five participating hospitals and health systems in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). RPI is a fact-based, systematic, and data-driven problem-solving methodology which incorporates tools and concepts from Lean Six Sigma and change management. This methodology guided the organizations through identifying the root causes and barriers to preventing VTE in at-risk patients. The participating organizations then developed solutions that are targeted to the specific root causes that have been identified and analyzed at their organizations. The measurement system and solutions will be tested, validated, and then spread to other organizations in 2018.

Project Team
Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Maryland
Kaiser Permanente, California
Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts
Texas Health Resources, Texas
In collaboration with the CDC

Project Outcomes

The project team worked to:

  • Identify the root causes of barriers to identifying and preventing VTE in at-risk patients.
  • Find effective and targeted solutions for overcoming those barriers.
  • Test and validate solutions.
  • Make the lessons learned and solutions developed through the project widely available to all health care organizations.

Some of the work done to date by the Center and its participating health care organizations has been shared in a publication written with the CDC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

View this publication

Project Results

The results for this project are targeted for publication in 2018.