Improving inpatient venous thromboembolism prophylaxis

Glenn C. Shedd, Christine Franklin, Autumn M. Schumacher, Dale E. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES:: The number and types of inpatients given inadequate prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism (VTE) are not known; patients receive less than appropriate prophylaxis with some frequency. METHODS:: Initially we evaluated VTE prophylaxis at a community hospital by comparing prophylaxis patterns in adult inpatients for whom some prophylaxis was indicated. Patients were categorized as medical, general surgery, and orthopedic, then categorized as appropriate, suboptimal, or none in terms of VTE prophylaxis. After initial data collection, we performed an intervention on medical patients using a VTE risk assessment tool; a printed evaluation containing the VTE risk assessment score with related VTE prophylaxis regimens was placed in the patients' charts, after which prophylaxis patterns were compared between preintervention and postintervention medical patients. RESULTS:: Initial data collected from 116 medical, 110 general surgery, and 72 orthopedic patients (n ≤ 298) showed that there was a significant association between diagnosis category and level of observed appropriate VTE prophylaxis (P < 0.0001). Fifty-six medical patients (48%) received no prophylaxis, compared to 40 (36%) general surgery patients and 12 (17%) orthopedic patients. In the second phase, 74 medical patients on whom the intervention was performed were compared to 116 preintervention medical patients (n ≤ 190). The findings showed that intervention status had a significant association with level of appropriate VTE prophylaxis (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION:: An increase in appropriate VTE prophylaxis was observed after a system-level intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1215
Number of pages7
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Prevention
  • Prophylaxis
  • Risk factors
  • Venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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