A multidisciplinary quality improvement program increases the inferior vena cava filter retrieval rate

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Published reports indicate low retrieval rates for retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. We performed a historic-controlled study of a 5-year intervention (March 2007 to February 2012) to improve IVC filter retrieval rates at a university medical center serving a rural area. All adults with a retrievable filter placed were included, except those with a life expectancy <6 months. The intervention included initial verbal counseling and printed educational materials, correspondence after discharge, and a hematology consultation. The control group included patients with retrievable filters placed in the 15 months preceding study initiation. In the control group, 116 filters were placed and 27 (23%) were removed, compared to 378 filters placed and 169 (45%) removed during the intervention. Adjusting for patient characteristics, the odds ratio of retrieval during the intervention was 3.03 (95% CI 1.85–4.27) compared to the control period. An intervention including patient education and hematology follow-up appeared to significantly improve IVC filter retrieval rates.

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