rss

This article has a correction

Please see: BMJ Qual Improv Report 2017;6

BMJ Qual Improv Report 6: doi:10.1136/bmjquality.u212617.w5031
  • BMJ Quality Improvement Programme

Making safer preoperative arrangements for patients using vitamin K antagonists

  1. Robert Jan Stolker
  1. Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Joris van Fessem j.vanfessem{at}erasmusmc.nl
  • Received 2 August 2016
  • Revision requested 11 October 2016
  • Revised 10 November 2016
  • Published 27 January 2017

Abstract

Use of vitamin K antagonists creates a risk for patient health and safety. The Dutch framework “Nationwide Standard Integrated Care of Anticoagulation” propagates a shared plan and responsibility by surgeon and anesthesiologist together in the preoperative setting. In our institution, this framework had not been implemented. Therefore, a quality-improvement project was started at the Anesthesia Department to improve perioperative safety.

After exploration of barriers, multiple interventions were carried out to encourage co-workers at the preoperative screening department to take shared responsibility: distribution of prints, adjustments in electronic patient records, introduction of a protocol and education sessions. Efficacy was measured retrospectively performing a before-after study collecting perioperative data of patients using vitamin K antagonists. The primary outcome measure was the percentage of predefined safe preoperative plans. Secondary outcome measures were (1) incidence of postoperative bleeding and thrombo-embolic events within the first 24 hours after intervention and (2) necessity to preoperative correction of anticoagulation.

Before intervention 72 (29%) safe, 93 (38%) partially unsafe and 83 (33%) unsafe arrangements were made. After the intervention these numbers were 105 (80%), 23 (17%) en 4 (3%), respectively: a significant 51% increase in safe preoperative plans (P<0.001). We observed no significant difference (P=0.369) regarding bleeding and thrombo-embolic events: pre-intervention 12 (5%) cases of postoperative bleeding were documented, vs. 6 (5%) post intervention and the number of thrombo-embolic events was 5 (2%) vs. 0. Also, no significant differences concerning preoperative correction of anticoagulation were observed: 11 (4%) vs. 8 (6%) (P=0.489).

This quality improvement project demonstrates a major improvement in safer preoperative arrangements in our institution regarding vitamin K antagonists, using the described interventions. A significant effect on bleeding or thrombo-embolic events or necessity to correction of anticoagulation could not be demonstrated.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: