Background: The most common cause of mortality following bariatric surgery is venous thromboembolism. Our study aimed to (1) determine the practice patterns of venous thromboembolism (VTE) chemoprophylaxis among bariatric surgeons participating in a large statewide quality collaborative and (2) compare the results of surgeon self-reported chemoprophylaxis practices to actual practices from abstracted chart data.
Methods: We administered a 13-question survey to 66 surgeons across a statewide collaborative aimed at revealing VTE practice patterns such as medication type, dosage, timing, duration, and level of trainee involvement (response rate 93%). We conducted on-site data audits to examine the charts of all patients that had developed VTE during the study period and 15 other randomly selected patient charts per site. We then evaluated both the ordered perioperative chemoprophylaxis and the actual administered chemoprophylaxis from nursing and electronic records.
Results: There was 31% overall discordance between self-reported and abstracted chart data for pre-operative VTE dosing regimens. Among patients who had a VTE, 39% of administered chemoprophylaxis did not match surgeon responses. Conversely, among patients who did not have a VTE, only 29% were discordant (p = 0.03). In contrast, for post-operative VTE dosing, there was no significant difference in the rate of discordance in patients with and without a VTE (47% discordance vs 38%, p = 0.0552, respectively).
Conclusions: Greater discordance between surgeon self-reported and actual perioperative VTE chemoprophylaxis is associated with significantly increased risk of VTE. Further understanding of the system characteristics associated with these practices may yield insights into how best to improve appropriate VTE chemoprophylaxis.
Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Health services research; Metabolic surgery; VTE; VTE prophylaxis; Venous thromboembolism.