High rate of false-positive postoperative venous thromboembolism identified using hospital ICD-10 coding

Hadley Bortz, Linda Shi, Adrian Chee, Huyen Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The Health Roundtable, a national benchmarking body, identified our institution as an outlier with a high number of postoperative venous thromboembolism (VTE) events. We performed a retrospective study to determine the accuracy of hospital coding for the incidence and severity of postoperative VTE. Of 232 patients identified from ICD-10 coding, 52 (22.4%) were incorrectly coded. Approximately one third (n = 68) of all VTE were asymptomatic, diagnosed incidentally. Thus, coding data are inherently flawed with inaccuracy and overrepresent the true number of VTE events, with a substantial proportion of limited clinical relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-130
Number of pages5
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • hospital coding
  • ICD-10
  • postoperative
  • venous thromboembolism

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