AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains a serious complication in hospitalized patients, in spite of several published guidelines (GL) on its prevention. The objective of this study (part of the TRiPSS-2 project) was to evaluate the impact of a locally adapted GL, supported by a multifaceted implementation strategy, in improving VTE prophylaxis in a large teaching hospital. DESIGN AND METHODS: A before and after controlled study was used to evaluate the impact of the recommendations on the appropriateness of prophylaxis. We evaluated the medical charts of two random samples, each of 250 patients, discharged in the first semester of the years 2000 and 2002. The hospital incidence of VTE (1996-2004) was also monitored, through the discharge summaries. RESULTS: Among high risk patients, appropriateness of prophylaxis increased both in medical (from 25% to 41.7%, p=0.0075) and in surgical patients (from 63.7% to 97.1%, p=0.0004). A parallel sharp increase (by 6-8 times) of consumption of elastic stockings was documented. In both medical and surgical patients the incidence of VTE decreased markedly and sustainedly in 2002-2004, with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.68 (95% confidence interval: 0.62-0.75). However, the use of lower than recommended doses of heparins and the increased use of prophylaxis in low risk patients represent unsolved problems. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: Implementing locally adapted GL may be highly effective in improving appropriateness of prophylaxis and in reducing the incidence of VTE; however a careful evaluation of changes is recommended in order to identify unsolved problems or undesired effects.
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Vol. 90 No. 5 (2005): May, 2005 : Articles
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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