Dr. Peter Pronovost: Dangerous blood clots tend to fly 'under the radar' in hospitals

Blood clots that occur in hospitalized patients are "under the radar" at most hospitals, despite being potentially deadly, Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, director of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety, wrote in a recent blog post.

Pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis can be prevented when patients are screened for their risk and given a therapy if they are at risk, he wrote, but "many patients do not receive appropriate therapy."

An improvement team at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore tackled this issue by creating what Dr. Pronovost called a "hard stop" in the computerized ordering system making it mandatory for physicians to review blood clot prevention. With that and some other changes, blood clot rates at the hospital have decreased.

However, just prescribing the therapy doesn't mean it actually reaches the patient. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital found that 12 percent of the prescribed doses of blood clot therapies don't reach patients. This can be due to patient refusal or due to nurse attitudes toward the treatment, Dr. Pronovost wrote.

"All of us — physicians, nurses, patients and their families — need to work together and do a better job of raising the profile of this danger," Dr. Pronovost wrote.

Click here for the full blog post.

More articles featuring Dr. Pronovost:
Infection control best practices borrowed to improve inpatient glucose management
Beyond the burning platform: A recipe for continuous quality improvement
'Never event' and preventable patient harm data: 10 challenges, recommendations

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars