A simple reminder system improves venous thromboembolism prophylaxis rates and reduces thrombotic events for hospitalized patients1.

Research paper by J D JD Mitchell, J F JF Collen, S S Petteys, A B AB Holley

Indexed on: 23 Dec '11Published on: 23 Dec '11Published in: Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis


Compliance with venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis is poor.We sought to determine whether a simple electronic reminder applicable to all hospitalized patients would increase prophylaxis rates and reduce VTE rates.An electronic reminder was added to the electronic medical record admission note used by all services in our hospital. Prophylaxis, VTE and bleeding rates before and after implementation were compared. Data were analyzed with sas version 9.1.Among all adult medical and surgical patients admitted to our hospital during the time periods studied, 42.8% (1236/2888) before and 60.0% (1410/2350) after the reminder was added received appropriate prophylaxis as per American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) guidelines (P < 0.001). The difference reached significance for both medical (51.0% vs. 68.9%; P < 0.001) and surgical (48.0% vs. 61.0%; P < 0.001) services. Fewer patients were diagnosed with VTE after our reminder was added (1.1% vs. 0.3%; P = 0.001), and there was a trend towards fewer bleeds (1.1% vs. 0.6%; P = 0.09). The presence of the reminder was an independent predictor for prophylaxis being given (odds ratio [OR] 1.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.70-2.18; P < 0.001), and was independently associated with a decreased risk for VTE (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.14-0.64; P = 0.003) after adjustment for other VTE risk factors.Adding an electronic reminder to the admission note improved prophylaxis rates and reduced VTE rates across services. The system is easily reproducible and applicable to other facilities. The improvement obtained was modest, so additional measures will probably be needed to optimize prophylaxis rates.