Blood Clots (Venous Thromboembolism)

Some patients who are hospitalized and immobile or undergo major operations are at risk for developing blood clots in the veins of their legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT). The clot(s) can cause partial or complete blocking of circulation, which can lead to pain, swelling, tenderness, discoloration, or redness of the leg.

The most serious complication of these blood clots occurs when they break off. Veins return blood to the heart and when a clot in the leg breaks off, it travels to the heart and then gets lodged in the blood vessels of the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which results in symptoms of shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, sweating, and/or sharp chest pain (especially during deep breathing). A pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening if not recognized and treated quickly.

There are many factors that increase a patient's risk for blood clots. Some factors are associated with the individual's age and medical history. Older patients and patients who have clinical conditions like cancer or genetic factors that make them more predisposed to blood clots have greater risk. In addition, patients who undergo major operations or are immobilized for long periods of time also have greater risk.

There are strategies to prevent blood clots from forming. Medications can be given to high risk patients to prevent them. These medications are small doses of blood thinners (anticoagulants). When a patient cannot tolerate these medications, other treatments like devices that deliver external pressure around the leg (called sequential compression devices) to improve circulation can be used.

The first step in the process of preventing blood clots is to assess patients for their risk. The following are measures of our efforts in taking steps to prevent them in high risk patients by providing medications or sequential compression devices. Our efforts in taking steps to prevent blood clots has been recognized by the North American Thrombosis Forum, which conferred UMHS with a DVTeamCare Hospital Award in 2011.

Treatment Received to Prevent Blood Clots
Higher Value = Better Performance

Details

Why is This Measure Important?

Prevention of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) is important because the clots can cause partial or complete blocking of the circulation or can break off and get lodged in the blood vessels of the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be life-threatening. This measure represents the percentage of hospitalized adult patients for whom prophylaxis was received (treatment to prevent blood clots with medication or with mechanical devices that use pressure to improve circulation of blood in the legs).

How is UMHS Performing?

We are performing better than the national average.

UMHS Source:Hospital administrative data and chart review.
Comparison Group Source:National average from CMS/Hospital Compare.

Treatment Received to Prevent Blood Clots Adult Intensive Care Units
Higher Value = Better Performance

Details

Why is This Measure Important?

Patients admitted to an ICU will be at high risk for developing a blood clot in the legs (deep venous thromboembolis or DVT). It is important that they be assessed and given the appropriate preventive therapy because the clots can cause partial or complete blocking of the circulation or can break off and get lodged in the blood vessels of the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be life-threatening. This measure represents the percentage of adult ICU patients who received treatment with medication and/or mechanical devices that use pressure to improve circulation of blood in the legs.

How is UMHS Performing?

At the University of Michigan Health System 100% of all ICU patients received either medication or sequential compression devices to prevent blood clots, in three of the last four quarters.

UMHS Source:Hospital administrative data and chart review.
Comparison Group Source: National average from CMS/Hospital Compare.

Blood-Clot-Rate
Higher Value = Better Performance

Details

Why is This Measure Important?

Acquiring a blood clot during hospitization is a serious occurrence and can even be life threatening. This measure evaluates hospitalized patients that are confirmed as having a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) or in the blood vessels of the lungs (pulmonary embolism or PE). This measure represents the percentage of adult patients that acquired a blood clot during their hospital stay.

How is UMHS Performing?

UMHS is performing below (better than) the national average for all 6 measurement periods. We continuously assess patients for risk of developing blood clots, provide preventative care and evaluate opportunities to reduce the occurrence of these blood clots.

UMHS Source: Hospital administrative data and chart review.
Comparison Group Source: National average from CMS/Hospital Compare.