The International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) venous thromboembolism (VTE) working group has developed a standard set of outcome measures for patients with VTE. The consensus recommendation—published in the September edition of The Lancet Haematology—is designed to “facilitate the implementation of the use of patient-centred outcomes in daily practice”.
Authors Adam Gwozdz (King’s College London, London, UK), Cindy de Jong (Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands) and colleagues explain in their report that the ICHOM assembled an international working group of VTE experts and patient representatives “to develop a standardised minimum set of outcomes and outcome measurements for integration into clinical practice and potentially research to support clinical decision making and benchmarking of quality of care”.
The group selected a total of 15 core outcomes important to patients and healthcare professionals, and then categorised these outcomes into four domains: patient-reported outcomes, long-term consequences of the disease, disease-specific complications, and treatment-related complications. They write that the outcomes and outcome measures were designed to apply to all patients with VTE aged 16 years or older.
Gwozdz, de Jong et al selected a measurement tool package for inclusion in the core standard set. “Additional measures can be introduced to the user by a cascade opt-in system that allows for further assessment if required,” the authors note.
In a section on implementation, the researchers advise that the final set of outcome measures is now available online for use within clinical practice and potentially research. They elaborate: “After signing up for free through ICHOM Connect, all materials related to the set (i.e. a flyer, reference guide, and data dictionary) can be downloaded.”
The investigators state that the overarching aim of their work is to achieve a globally adopted standard set. However, they acknowledge that there are “different resources, digital infrastructures, and healthcare contexts in low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries that can affect the speed and success of implementation”. They write that “training and education, commitment, and enabling attitudes of healthcare professionals are believed to facilitate implementation” and “offset more structural challenges within the healthcare system”.
“We anticipate that the introduction of this set will contribute substantially towards increasing value in VTE care,” Gwozdz, de Jong and colleagues state in their concluding remarks. They also recognise the benefit of the document for patients, asserting that implementation of this set will “empower patients with VTE to actively participate in their care and, together with involved professionals, make better informed decisions about healthcare options”.
Speaking to Venous News, senior author Frederikus Klok (Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands) notes that the ICHOM will provide support to any healthcare professional or institution that sets out to implement the outcome measures. In addition, he advises that the set will be regularly reassessed and updated if relevant.