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Venous Thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is one of the most common complications experienced by hospitalized patients. This condition may cause blood clots that can lead to swelling, extreme discomfort and even death. Establishing education and guidelines for care providers on proper prevention of VTE improves safety for our patients.


What are we measuring?

  •  Percentage of patients who receive the appropriate treatment to prevent VTE


Island Health Success

Island Health staff have made VTE prevention a priority in the care of all acute care patients. As of August 1, 2011 Island Health implemented an organization-wide policy to assess every adult acute care patient for risk of VTE at the time of admission or transfer from one area of care to another.

Along with the policy, clinical staff are using specific protocols for delivering care, known as clinical order sets, to help prevent and treat VTE effectively. In the 2011/12 fiscal year, chart reviews from Royal Jubilee Hospital showed only two of 97 charts without appropriate VTE prevention treatment listed. At Victoria General, only one of 95 charts did not list the treatment.

Education has also been an integral part of the strategy to prevent VTE. ICU staff at Victoria General, Royal Jubilee and Nanaimo Regional General have introduced VTE prevention discussion in their daily rounds. Island Health hospitalists have been taking part in the VTE Learning Collaborative where teams from around the province share experiences and test improvements to prevent this dangerous condition.


Learn More from the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council.


BCPQC Venous Thromboembolism Backgrounder (PDF)