The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a new initiative to recognize hospitals that have used effective strategies to tackle the growing problem of healthcare-associated venous thromboembolism (HA-VTE).

The 2015 HA-VTE Prevention Challenge seeks to promote prevention at health care organizations nationally and abroad by

  • bringing prestige to organizations that invest in VTE prevention;
  • improving understanding of successful implementation strategies at the health system level; and
  • motivating health systems to strengthen VTE prevention efforts.

The CDC estimates that VTE, or blood clots in the vein, affects up to 900,000 people and causes about 100,000 premature deaths annually in the United States. Close to half of these cases arise following hospital stays and most can be prevented with proper patient education and care.

A panel of judges from the CDC and other agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will score participants on methodology, results, and feasibility of the intervention. Those recognized as HA-VTE Prevention Champions will receive cash prizes of $10,000.

Submissions are being accepted until Jan. 10Awards will be announced in March 2016.