Venous thromboembolism quality measures fail to accurately measure quality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is 1 of the most common causes of preventable harm for patients in hospitals. Consequently, the Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the United Kingdom Care Quality Commission, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, and the American College of Surgeons have prioritized measuring and reporting VTE outcomes with the goal of reducing the incidence of and preventable harm from VTE. We developed a rubric for defect-free VTE prevention, graded each organizational VTE quality measure, and found that none of the current VTE-related quality measures adequately characterizes VTE prevention efforts or outcomes in hospitalized patients. Effective VTE prevention is multifactorial: clinicians must assess patients' risk for VTE and prescribe therapy appropriate for each patient's risk profile, patients must accept the prescribed therapy, and nurses must administer the therapy as prescribed. First, an ideal, defect-free VTE prevention process measure requires: (1) documentation of a standardized VTE risk assessment; (2) prescription of optimal, risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis; and (3) administration of all risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis as prescribed. Second, an ideal VTE outcome measure should define potentially preventable VTE as VTE that developed in patients who experienced any VTE prevention process failures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1278-1284
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • access and evaluation
  • health care
  • health care quality
  • health information technology
  • quality improvement
  • quality indicators
  • quality of health care
  • venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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