E-Alerts Found to Help Prevent Thromboembolism

Electronic alerts reduce the incidence, cost of venous thromboembolism in hospitalized patients

WEDNESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic alerts (e-alerts) may be a cost-effective prophylactic strategy to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) in hospitalized patients, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Ramón Lecumberri, M.D., Ph.D., from the University Clinic of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and colleagues evaluated the economic impact of an e-alert system on preventing VTE in 32,280 patients, hospitalized at a single institution between 2005 and 2009. Investigators followed all cases of VTE developed during hospitalization and collected data on direct costs of diagnosis and management.

The investigators found that the implementation of e-alerts significantly reduced the incidence of in-hospital VTE (odds ratio [OR], 0.50), with a substantial impact on medical patients (OR, 0.44) and no increase in prophylaxis-related bleeding. The average direct cost, during hospitalization and after discharge, of an in-hospital patient with VTE was €7,058. The direct costs were reduced from €21.6 to €11.8 per single hospitalized patient, but thromboprophylaxis and the development of e-alerts added additional costs of €3 and €0.35 per patient, respectively. The net cost saving resulting from the implementation of e-alerts was €6.5 per hospitalized patient. The total yearly savings approached €30 million when all hospitalized patients in Spain were considered.

"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. Fewer complications and lower costs will be achieved by implementing in-hospital electronic alerts," the authors write.

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