A decision support tool with health economic modelling for better management of DVT patients

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Background: Responding to the increasing demand for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) treatment in the United Kingdom (UK) at times of limited budgets and resources is a great challenge for decision-makers. Therefore, there is a need to find innovative policies, which improve operational efficiency and achieve the best value for money for patients. This study aims to develop a Decision Support Tool (DST) that assesses the impact of implementing new DVT patients’ management and care policies aiming at improving efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing value for money.

Methods: With the involvement of stakeholders from a number of DVT services in the UK, we developed a DST combining discrete event simulation (DES) for DVT pathways and the Socio Technical Allocation of Resources (STAR) approach, an agile health economics technique. The model was inputted with data from the literature, local datasets from DVT services, and interviews conducted with DVT specialists. The tool was validated and verified by various stakeholders and two policies, namely shifting more patients to community services (CSs) and increasing the usage of the Novel Oral Anticoagulant (NOAC) drug were selected for testing on the model.

Results: Sixteen possible scenarios were run on the model for a period of 5 years and generated treatment activity, human resources, costing, and value for money outputs. The results indicated that hospital visits can be reduced by up to 50%. Human resources’ usage can be greatly lowered driven mainly by offering NOAC treatment to more patients. Also, combining both policies can lead to cost savings of up to 50%. The STAR method, which considers both service and patient perspectives produced findings that implementing both policies provide a significantly higher value for money compared to the situation when neither is applied.

Conclusions: The combination of DES and STAR can help decision-makers determine the interventions that have the highest benefits from service providers' and patients’ perspectives. This is important given the mismatch between care demand and resources and the resulting need for improving operational and economic outcomes. The DST tool has the potential to inform policymaking in DVT services in the UK to improve performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Economics Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2022


  • deep vein thrombosis
  • Community services
  • discrete event simulation
  • STAR
  • decision support tool
  • patient flow modelling
  • National Health Service
  • United Kingdom
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Discrete event simulation
  • Patient flow modelling
  • Decision support tool
  • National health service


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