Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundNorthwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) was historically a poor performer on the venous thromboembolism (VTE) outcome measure. As this measure has been shown to be flawed by surveillance bias, NMH embraced process-of-care measures to ensure appropriate VTE prophylaxis to assess healthcare-associated VTE prevention efforts.ObjectiveTo evaluate the impact of an institution-wide project aimed at improving hospital performance on VTE prophylaxis measures.DesignA retrospective observational study.SettingNMH, an 885-bed academic medical center in Chicago, Illinois PATIENTS: Inpatients admitted to NMH from January 1, 2013 to May 1, 2013 and from October 1, 2014 to April 1, 2015 were eligible for evaluation.InterventionUsing the define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) process-improvement methodology, a multidisciplinary team implemented and iteratively improved 15 data-driven interventions in 4 broad areas: (1) electronic medical record (EMR) alerts, (2) education initiatives, (3) new EMR order sets, and (4) other EMR changes.MeasurementsThe Joint Commission's 6 core measures and the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) SCIP-VTE-2 measure.ResultsBased on 3103 observations (1679 from January 1, 2013 to May 1, 2013, and 1424 from October 1, 2014 to April 1, 2015), performance on the core measures improved. Performance on measure 1 (chemoprophylaxis) improved from 82.5% to 90.2% on medicine services, and from 94.4% to 97.6% on surgical services. The largest improvements were seen in measure 4 (platelet monitoring), with a performance increase from 76.7% adherence to 100%, and measure 5 (warfarin discharge instructions), with a performance increase from 27.4% to 88.8%.ConclusionA systematic hospital-wide DMAIC project improved VTE prophylaxis measure performance. Sustained performance has been observed, and novel control mechanisms for continued performance surveillance have been embedded in the hospital system. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2016;11:S29-S37. © 2016 Society of Hospital Medicine.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of hospital medicine

Publication Date



11 Suppl 2


S29 - S37


Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center, Department of Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois.


Humans, Anticoagulants, Hospitalization, Retrospective Studies, Academic Medical Centers, Chicago, Male, Venous Thromboembolism, Quality Improvement, Process Assessment, Health Care