Usefulness of a Computerized Reminder System to Improve Inferior Vena Cava Filter Retrieval and Complications.


Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: [Email]


Inferior vena cava filters (IVCF) are associated with complications which may be due to delayed retrieval. Initiation of an automated reminder system may improve retrieval rates and reduce complications. A computerized reminder system, which provides interactive email reminders after implantation while collecting IVCF use data, was implemented. IVCF retrieval was compared before ("reminder not provided" group) and after ("reminder provided" group) implementation. Data regarding implantation, retrieval, and complications were collected. The primary efficacy outcome was retrieval rate, and the primary safety outcome was indwelling complication rate. Secondary outcomes were time to retrieval and a composite adverse outcome defined as IVCF thrombosis, deep venous thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, and death. A total of 1,070 IVCF insertions were included, 715 in the "reminder not provided" group and 355 in the "reminder provided" group. Patient age (61 vs 64 years, p = 0.95) and gender (42% vs 40% female, p = 0.55) were similar in the "reminder not provided" and "reminder provided" groups, respectively. In the "reminder provided" group, the retrieval rate was higher (148/297 [49.8%] vs 223/715 [31.2%], p = 0.0001), the indwelling complication rate was lower (30/319 [9.4%] vs 115/715 [16.1%], p = 0.005), and the time to retrieval was shorter (112 days vs 146 days, p = 0.02). The composite adverse outcome occurred less frequently in the "reminder provided" group: (85/355 [23.9%] vs 297/715 [41.5%], p = 0.0001). The system was associated with increased odds of IVCF retrieval (odds ratio 2.56; 95% confidence interval: 1.82 to 3.59; p <0.0001) and reduced odds of the composite adverse outcome (odds ratio 0.72; 95% confidence interval: 0.60 to 0.80; p <0.0001). In conclusion, implementing a computerized email reminder system was associated with higher IVCF retrieval rates, fewer indwelling complications, and shorter dwell times.