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Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Venous Thromboembolism Risk Assessment and Prophylaxis Rates in Hospitalized Patients

Jennifer E Stark, Matthew L Bird, Winter J Smith, Kimi S Vesta, and Suman W Rathbun

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Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a preventable disease in hospitalized patients; however, VTE prophylaxis is underutilized. Effective strategies for the assessment of individual patients’ VTE risk and the provision of VTE prophylaxis are needed.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a multidisciplinary intervention designed to improve VTE risk assessment and prophylaxis in at-risk hospitalized patients.

Methods: The multidisciplinary intervention to improve VTE risk assessment and prophylaxis consisted of 3 strategies: a broad educational effort, nursing assessment, and pharmacist follow-up. Educational programs were delivered to nursing, pharmacy, and physician staff. Upon admission, all patients were assessed for VTE risk factors by nursing staff. Pharmacists reviewed reports of patients screened to have at least 1 VTE risk factor; for patients not prescribed VTE prophylaxis, pharmacists placed a progress note and VTE prophylaxis order form in the chart. If no prophylaxis was prescribed by the following day, the pharmacist contacted the physician with a verbal recommendation. The impact of this intervention was evaluated by comparing the proportion of patients assessed for VTE risk factors on admission and the proportion of VTE prophylaxis candidates who received prophylaxis, both before and after implementation.

Results: A total of 310 patients were included during the 2-month study period. An increase in patients assessed for the presence of VTE risk factors was observed after the intervention (41% vs 87%, p < 0.001). Similarly, an increase in patients prescribed prophylaxis was observed after the intervention (36% vs 63%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This multidisciplinary approach including education, nursing assessment, and pharmacist follow-up resulted in a significant increase in the rates of VTE risk assessment and prophylaxis.

J Pharm Technol 2012;28:171-8

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