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J Thromb Haemost. 2009 Sep;7(9):1437-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2009.03533.x. Epub 2009 Jun 27.

Prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism in the US: improving hospital performance.

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Department of Medicine, SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention has been recognized as the most important practice for improving patient safety in hospitals. To be effective, VTE prophylaxis must be appropriately prescribed with respect to type, dose and duration. Large-scale studies of medical discharge records have highlighted low rates of appropriate thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized medical patients, especially those with cancer or severe lung disease. Lack of prophylaxis and an insufficient duration are the most common forms of inappropriate prophylaxis. Multifaceted, active, quality improvement initiatives have been developed and shown to successfully increase the appropriate prescribing of VTE prophylaxis in patients at risk. By increasing the use of appropriate VTE prophylaxis in at-risk patients, the disease burden of hospital-acquired VTE and its resulting complications can be reduced.

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