Venous thromboembolism prevention in medical patients: a framework for improving practice.
Phlebology. 2011 Jan 12;
Authors: Vaughan-Shaw PG, Cannon C
OBJECTIVE: Medical inpatients have been shown to be at risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) including fatal pulmonary emboli. Several studies have shown that pharmacological thromboprophylaxis significantly reduces the rates of VTE, yet studies published to date have shown a considerable underuse of thromboprophylaxis in medical patients. This study assesses the current use of thromboprophylaxis in medical patients at our institution and aims to identify simple strategies to improve practice. Design A prospective study of thromboprophylaxis prescription was undertaken on three occasions over a 12-month period. Patients were stratified according to the number of risk factors and standards of thromboprophylaxis assessed according to risk. After the first round of data collection, results were presented, a local guideline was developed and a risk assessment was added to the clerking pro forma. RESULTS: There were 122 patients in the first round, 101 in the second and 163 in the third. Eligible moderate and high-risk patients receiving a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) increased from 31% to 63% (P?<?0.005) over the study period. Prescription of thromboembolic deterrent (TED) stockings in those contraindicated to LMWH increased from 23% to 35% although this was not statistically significant (P?=?0.08), and the percentage of high-risk patients correctly receiving LMWH, TED stockings or both increased from 22% to 62% (P?<?0.0005). Documentation of contraindications to thromboprophylaxis increased from 0% to 59% (P?<?0.0005). CONCLUSION: This paper demonstrates an initial rate of thromboprophylaxis use considerably less than the ENDORSE trial. However the strategies employed following initial audit resulted in a significant increase in the prescription of both mechanical and pharmacological thromboprophylaxis. This example demonstrates the role of audit education and a risk assessment in stimulating change. Such strategies could be used to ensure compliance to recently published National Institute of Clinical Excellence VTE guidelines. Furthermore this example could be generalized to improve other aspects of care.
PMID: 21228357 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]