Improving clinician performance of inpatient venous thromboembolism risk assessment and prophylaxis.

Samuel Z. Goldhaber, Thomas L. Ortel, Carolyn A. Berry, Stephanie A. Stowell, Allison J. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinicians are aware of the importance of thromboprophylaxis, and that the application of measures to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) occurrence in hospitalized patients must be improved. To enhance clinician execution of appropriate steps to reduce the risk of inpatient VTE, a performance improvement (PI) continuing medical education (CME) initiative consisting of 3 independent tracks for hospitalized patients-patients who are medically ill, patients receiving oncology treatment, and patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery-was designed and implemented. After a baseline chart review of select evidenced-based performance measures for VTE risk stratification and prevention, participants identified ≥ 1 area of personal improvement. Participants then engaged in a period of self-improvement and reassessed their performance with a second chart review. After participating in the PI CME activity, clinician participants in the medically ill track increased their documentation of VTE risk assessments upon patient admission from baseline (56% vs 93%, n = 250; P < 0.001) and their prescription of low-molecular-weight heparin, low-dose unfractionated heparin, or fondaparinux (72% vs 88%, n = 250; P < 0.001). Orthopedic-track participants were significantly more likely to prescribe 15 to 35 days of VTE prophylaxis after total hip arthroplasty or hip fracture surgery upon patient discharge compared with baseline (51%, n = 123 vs 61%, n = 107; P < 0.001). Oncology-track participants demonstrated a nonsignificant trend for assessing and documenting bleeding risk after participation in the PI CME activity (56% vs 68%, n = 80; P = 0.143). Improvements in evidence-based strategies to reduce the risk of inpatient VTE were associated with PI CME participation. Although areas for improvement remain, increased participant identification and use of prophylactic measures can reduce the risk of VTE in hospitalized patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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