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Proc AMIA Symp. 1998:573-6.

A computerized reminder for prophylaxis of deep vein thrombosis in surgical patients.

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  • 1Department of Medical Informatics, University of Utah, USA.



To measure the effect of a computerized reminder system on the rate of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis in surgical patients.


A prospective trial to measure change in compliance compared to historic controls.


LDS Hospital surgeons developed local consensus as to which procedures should have DVT prophylaxis. The historic rate of prophylaxis for the procedures was measured through a database search of patient records. A computerized reminder system was then implemented which utilized an expert knowledge base and a time drive mechanism to flag surgical cases for DVT prophylaxis. For eligible patients, a DVT reminder appeared on the operating room schedule; surgical staff used this as a guide to apply prophylaxis. During the 3 month trial the rate of DVT prophylaxis was remeasured and compared to the pre-intervention rate.


The pre-intervention rate of DVT prophylaxis over a 3 month period was 85.2% (785 of 921 eligible cases). For the 3 months following the introduction of the computerized reminder, compliance with DVT prophylaxis increased to 99.3% (1084 of 1092 eligible cases). The difference between the historic controls and the study subjects was highly significant (p < 0.001).


A computerized reminder is an effective method of increasing the rate of DVT prophylaxis in surgical patients.

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