Stressing the importance of VTE prevention —in training and on the care floor — is a fundamental part of ensuring that preventative modalities happen more often. But there's another key part of the equation: educating providers on outcomes. And for that,
ICD-10 compliance serves as a helpful tool for cluing providers in on the direct results of steps they did or did not take.
“If I were to have a patient this week and I didn't put their mechanical compression device on for a whole eight hours, I might not necessarily know that three days later on the floor they developed a DVT," Duxbury said.
ICD-10 compliance is a tool used by hospitals to collect and analyze data on patient diagnoses, treatments and outcomes. And while it might not be able to guide care teams in real time, being able to use that data to better inform providers about the impacts of their protocols can be an important part of comprehensive VTE awareness.
“Going back and saying, 'Do you know that the patient you took care of last week actually ended up with a DVT?' can be impactful because then you're targeting the nursing care and the actual hands-on care they provided for a patient," Duxbury said. This communication shouldn't be punitive, but a critical piece of the education and awareness puzzle.
The steps hospitals take to better prevent VTE among their patients might vary from facility to facility, but the important part is that, eventually, they do what's necessary to make VTE a bigger priority and save more lives.