Sensible Care – Room for Improvement Report on deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism

We contributed to the Room for Improvement Report on deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism published by the Netherlands Healthcare Institute (Zorginstituut Nederland, ZIN). After presenting the improvement report to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport on 11 October 2021, we will continue preparing for the implementation process. The Netherlands Healthcare Institute views implementation of d-dimer POCT as an important instrument for more cost-effective care.

Together with various experts and stakeholders, the Netherlands Healthcare Institute explored options for improvements in the care process for people with deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. One of the conclusions reached in the Improvement Report is that unnecessary hospital referrals could be avoided more often by following the Dutch College of General Practioners' (NHG) guideline more closely. The availability of d-dimer POCT is important in this context and can prevent unnecessary healthcare costs. For example, the request for a rapid d-dimer test, in accordance with the NHG Standard, would allow half of all patients suspected of having DVT to receive home care. This would avoid the need for expensive hospital diagnostics, achieving considerable cost savings and providing a much more pleasant experience which is better for the patient. It could also prevent possible false positives in the (unnecessary) additional tests and scans in hospital, which could in turn lead to new tests that would have been avoidable.

At this point, the parties involved have joint responsibility for implementing the improvements. These improvements will be developed further in the implementation phase.

The Netherlands Healthcare Institute will give annual progress reports to the Minister for Long-term Care and Sport. After three years, this process will be concluded with an evaluation.

Star-shl has published various articles and reports on this innovation and is conducting several projects with the aim of making d-dimer POCT available to GPs. We expect to have the results of the national study available before summer 2022.

The Jan Schueler Foundation supports this initiative, in line with its aim to provide access to new, sensible diagnostics in primary care.