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Hosp Pract (1995). 2010 Feb;38(1):97-108.

Venous thromboembolism prevention: a systematic review of methods to improve prophylaxis and decrease events in the hospitalized patient.

Author information

  • 1Cardinal Health Pharmacy Solutions, Lovelace Medical Center, Albuquerque, NM 87102, USA. charles.mahan@lovelace.com


Prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is currently a key initiative internationally and in US hospitals, where there has been a recent focus on national quality initiatives to prevent hospital-acquired VTE. Multiple strategies exist to prevent VTE by increasing prophylaxis rates in the hospitalized setting. Active, multifaceted interventions, including provider education, an active reminder to the provider, and regular audit and feedback to medical and hospital staff, appear to be the most effective current interventions. Active intervention programs have been validated both as electronic alerts, with or without computerized clinical decision support software and, more recently, human alerts, many of which utilize in-hospital pharmacists. A passive strategy, such as guideline dissemination, should not be used as a lone method. Although inappropriate duration remains a key reason as to why at-risk patients do not receive appropriate thromboprophylaxis within the hospital (defined by type, dose, and duration of prophylaxis), few studies address duration compared with hospital length of stay. Preventable VTE is a new quality outcome measure for hospitals but is measured in few studies. Future studies should focus on comparing various multifaceted interventions to assess their effect over time, including endpoints of bleeding for safety, appropriate type, dose, and duration of prophylaxis, overall and preventable VTE, and the impact on unnecessary prophylaxis for patients not at risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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