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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2016 May;27(5):740-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2016.01.130. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Impact of Physician Education and a Dedicated Inferior Vena Cava Filter Tracking System on Inferior Vena Cava Filter Use and Retrieval Rates Across a Large US Health Care Region.

Author information

Kaiser Permanente National IVC Filter Registry and Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Santa Clara. Electronic address:
Department of Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, Santa Clara.
Department of Imaging, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional Imaging, Oakland, California.
Department of Radiology, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, Santa Clara.
Department of Critical Care, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, Santa Clara.



To evaluate the effects of physician familiarity with current evidence and guidelines on inferior vena cava (IVC) filter use and the availability of IVC filter tracking infrastructure on retrieval rates.


Fourteen continuing medical education-approved in-hospital grand rounds covering evidence-based review of the literature on IVC filter efficacy, patient-centered outcomes, guidelines for IVC filter indications, and complications were performed across a large United States (US) health care region serving more than 3.5 million members. A computer-based IVC filter tracking system was deployed simultaneously. IVC filter use, rates of attempted retrieval, and fulfillment of guidelines for IVC filter indications were retrospectively evaluated at each facility for 12 months before intervention (n = 427) and for 12 months after intervention (n = 347).


After education, IVC filter use decreased 18.7%, with a member enrollment-adjusted decrease of 22.2%, despite an increasing IVC filter use trend for 4 years. Reduction in IVC filter use at each facility strongly correlated with physician attendance at grand rounds (r = -0.69; P = .007). Rates of attempted retrieval increased from 38.9% to 54.0% (P = .0006), with similar rates of successful retrieval (82.3% before education and 85.8% after education on first attempt). Improvement in IVC filter retrieval attempts correlated with physician attendance at grand rounds (r = 0.51; P = .051). IVC filter dwell times at first retrieval attempt were similar (10.2 wk before and 10.8 wk after).


Physician education dramatically reduced IVC filter use across a large US health care region, and represents a learning opportunity for physicians who request and place them. Education and a novel tracking system improved rates of retrieval for IVC filter devices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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