Working Group Agrees on HIT Improvements

APRIL 01, 2005

Recommendations of the heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) Working Group found that systemwide improvements in the management of HIT are necessary to improve patient care. The group's main goals were to identify the most prominent gaps in HIT awareness to help enhance diagnosis and treatment to facilitate changes in HIT management that may result in favorable patient outcomes. A significant finding was that HIT is not recognized in many institutions.

"Physicians and other health care providers must regard HIT as a limb-and-life-threatening condition and approach care of the HIT patient with appropriate urgency,"said HIT Working Group moderator Larry Rice, MD. "We need a focused effort to increase physician awareness and facilitate the widespread adoption of aggressive HIT treatment strategies."

The Group's recommendations include:

  • Implementing educational programs aimed to increase HIT awareness among all sectors of health care
  • Incorporating information technology to automate HIT screening within health care institutions
  • Educating hospital administrators and pharmacy managers about the importance of assessing the impact of early recognition and treatment
  • Developing tools to identify patients who should not be given heparin due to a history of HIT

The HIT Working Group is a consortium of 20 experts in anticoagulation medicine who recently held a series of meetings to discuss HIT management. GlaxoSmithKline sponsored the initiative.