Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is an acute medical condition that requires urgent diagnosis and treatment to prevent significant morbidity and mortality. Patients with DVT frequently present to the emergency department (ED) because the necessary diagnostic investigations and medical treatment for successful outpatient management are not readily accessible in the outpatient clinics. A collaborative quality improvement project was undertaken to implement and evaluate a standardised outpatient treatment pathway designed to direct patients with a newly diagnosed DVT from the ultrasound department to the thrombosis clinic, where guideline-based management for DVT can be accomplished without ED visits. During the baseline period (1 February 2017 to 31 January 2019), the number of ED visits for DVT was 383 with an average of 16 visits per month. During the intervention period (1 February 2019 to 31 January 2020), the number of ED visits for DVT was 106 with an average of 8.8 visits per month. This represents almost a 50% reduction in the average ED visits during the intervention period. A standardised outpatient treatment pathway can significantly reduce the number of ED visits in patients with DVT, potentially improving patient care and reducing ED overcrowding.
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