A Computer Alerts Doctors to the Risk of Thrombosis

Photo: Doctor points to the statistic on the computer screen

The computer automatically sends a
mail if a patient is at risk; © SINC

The programme, which performs a daily evaluation of each hospitalised patient, is a way to solve the problem of the lack of preventive treatment. “This system sets out a risk profile for venous thromboembolism in each patient and alerts the doctor as to whether he should apply preventive or prophylactic treatment”, José Antonio Páramo, co-author of the research and a doctor at the Navarre University Clinic.

This system achieves this by collecting information from each patient admitted to the clinic. This involves ”their baseline disease, the drugs they are taking, their lifestyle such as smoking or obesity, and whether they are going to have surgery”, the researcher outlines. These variables form part of the Pretemed scale, a model that calculates the risk of venous thrombosis validated throughout Spain. Each of these factors is equivalent to a score that increases the likelihood of alert which, according to the expert, “already exists because of the mere fact of being admitted to hospital”.

During the patient’s stay in hospital, the system gradually calculates the risk of thrombosis according to the patient’s progress, by performing a daily evaluation of the medical risk factors. “It is not that the system imposes prophylactic treatment, but when a patient’s score is high it alerts the doctor by sending a message, and he is the person who decides whether or not to apply preventive measures”, the doctor adds. “In many cases the doctor is unaware of the thrombosis risk”, he points out. Thus, the alert system also functions as a permanent reminder.

By using this electronic system, the incidence of thrombosis has been reduced by 40 percent in the clinic. For this reason Páramo emphasises the need to make this more widespread in hospitals. “This tool is not a patent, for which reason each centre must adapt it to its own IT system with the idea of setting up the same protocol”, the researcher points out.

MEDICA.de; Source: Plataforma SINC