Article

The impact of the heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) computerized alert on provider behaviors and patient outcomes.

Department of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York 10010, USA.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (Impact Factor: 3.93). 06/2011; 18(6):783-8. DOI: 10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000138
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to measure the effect of an electronic heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) alert on provider ordering behaviors and on patient outcomes.
A pop-up alert was created for providers when an individual's platelet values had decreased by 50% or to <100,000/mm(3) in the setting of recent heparin exposure. The authors retrospectively compared inpatients admitted between January 24, 2008 and August 24, 2008 to a control group admitted 1 year prior to the HIT alert. The primary outcome was a change in HIT antibody testing. Secondary outcomes included an assessment of incidence of HIT antibody positivity, percentage of patients started on a direct thrombin inhibitor (DTI), length of stay and overall mortality.
There were 1006 and 1081 patients in the control and intervention groups, respectively. There was a 33% relative increase in HIT antibody test orders (p=0.01), and 33% more of these tests were ordered the first day after the criteria were met when a pop-up alert was given (p=0.03). Heparin was discontinued in 25% more patients in the alerted group (p=0.01), and more direct thrombin inhibitors were ordered for them (p=0.03). The number who tested HIT antibody-positive did not differ, however, between the two groups (p=0.99). The length of stay and mortality were similar in both groups.
The HIT alert significantly impacted provider behaviors. However, the alert did not result in more cases of HIT being detected or an improvement in overall mortality. Our findings do not support implementation of a computerized HIT alert.

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