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Improving Anticoagulation Care for Pediatric Oncology Patients: A Quality Improvement Initiative.

BACKGROUND: Cancer is associated with increased venous thromboembolism in children. Risk factors for venous thromboembolism in this cohort include using central venous catheters, mass effect from underlying malignancy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Anticoagulation management in this cohort is challenging, given recurrent episodes of thrombocytopenia, the need for invasive procedures, and coagulopathy. A quality improvement (QI) initiative was developed to improve hematology consultation services and provide documentation of an individualized anticoagulation care plan for this high-risk cohort.

METHODS: Through the use of QI methods, interviews of stakeholders, expert consensus, and review of baseline data, a multidisciplinary team was organized, and key drivers relevant to improving access to hematology consultations and documentation of individualized anticoagulation care plans were identified. We used a Plan-Do-Study-Act model to improve hematology consultations and documentation of anticoagulation care plan (process measure). Outcome measures were bleeding and thrombosis recurrence/progression.

RESULTS: Seventeen patients with oncologic and venous thromboembolism diagnoses were included as baseline data. Slightly over half of these patients [53% (n = 9)] had a hematology consultation, and 7 (43.8%) had documentation of an anticoagulation care plan. After implementing QI methods, all 34 patients (100%) received hematology consultations and documentation of an anticoagulation care plan, and this measure was sustained for 1 year. Bleeding and thrombosis rates were similar in the baseline and post-QI cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS: QI interventions proved effective in sustaining access to hematology consultations and providing anticoagulation care plans for patients with concomitant improved anticoagulation plan documentation for patients.

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