Low-Cost Thromboprophylaxis by Electronic Alerts Effective

Both incidence and cost of treating venous thromboembolism may be reduced by e-alerts

WEDNESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic alert (e-alert) systems are cost-effective tools for reducing venous thromboembolism (VTE) in hospitalized patients, according to a study published online April 11 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Ramón Lecumberri, M.D., from the University Clinic of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and colleagues assessed the economic impact of an e-alert system to prevent VTE in 32,280 hospitalized patients. VTE cases that developed during hospitalizations in the first semesters of 2005 to 2009 were followed up for four years to assess the direct costs of diagnosis and management of VTE.

The investigators found that a maintained reduction in in-hospital VTE incidence was achieved after e-alerts (odds ratio [OR], 0.50), with a significant impact in medical patients (OR, 0.44). There was no increase seen in prophylaxis-related bleeding. An in-hospital VTE episode resulted in an average direct cost of €7,058 during hospitalization and after discharge. The direct cost was reduced from €21.6 to €11.8 per hospitalized patient after e-alerts. However, increased use of thromboprophylaxis and development of e-alerts cost €3 and €0.35 per patient, respectively, resulting in a net cost saving of €6.5 per hospitalized patient after e-alerts. The total yearly saving if all hospitalized patients in Spain were considered would be approximately €30 million.

"E-alerts are very useful tools to improve the use of prophylaxis and reduce the incidence of VTE during hospitalization, particularly in medical patients, thus representing a cost-effective thromboprophylaxis strategy in hospitalized patients," the authors write.

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