A partnership between the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, in North Laurel, and Johns Hopkins Medicine is applying data science expertise to help make preventable venous thromboembolism a thing of the past.

The effort leverages the Precision Medicine Analytics Platform, a multi-year project across Hopkins focused on accelerating precision medicine for clinicians and researchers by building a tool to facilitate discovery from data collected by JHM. It draws heavily on expertise within JHM’s Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

Venous thromboembolism affects nearly one million people each year in the United States, claiming up to 100,000 lives and leaving many more saddled with long-term complications.

“To prevent a hospital-associated VTE, critical steps are taken as soon as a patient is admitted,” said Luke Mullany, the biostatistician, epidemiologist and computer scientist in APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Department who is leading the work. “Initially, all patients are assessed upon admission for their risk of a VTE event during their stay in the hospital and appropriate measures should be taken to try and prevent those events from occurring.”

Once a patient is identified as being at risk for VTE, physicians have to prescribe preventative measures drawn from evidence-based clinical guidelines, ensure that the patient actually follows through with those preventative treatments and, finally monitor them after discharge to confirm that VTE is no longer a concern.

In collaboration with JHM leaders, Mullany and Vince Pulido, a data scientist in APL’s Asymmetric Operations Sector, are developing tools that enable their JHM counterparts to easily track their success rate in meeting these objectives. One of the first tools they developed was an automated report summarizing how closely the physicians’ orders aligned with recommendations from the clinical practice guidelines.

The report is sent monthly to more than 300 providers in the medical and surgery departments. The duo is also working on a web application that can visualize this data and make it available for hospital leadership.