Patient Care

Patient Adherence to Pharmacological Thromboprophylaxis Improves with Interventions


Clinical question: How can patient adherence to pharmacological thromboprophylaxis be improved?

Background: Prior studies suggest that the hospital-wide prevalence of nonadministration of VTE thromboprophylaxis orders ranges from 5% to 13%, with patient refusal listed as the most common reason for nonadministration.

Study design: Quasi-experimental, pre-post intervention, with intervention and control units.

Setting: Academic medical center in Philadelphia.

Synopsis: Researchers identified 20,208 admissions for the study; 8,293 (41%) admissions occurred prior to the intervention and 11,915 (59%) after. The three-part intervention, which was composed of (1) standardized nurse response to patient refusal, (2) integration of daily assessment of VTE into rounds, and (3) regular audit with feedback, resulted in a decrease in nonadministration rates during the intervention. Rates continued to decline in the 21-month follow-up period.

After the intervention, the rate of missed doses of pharmacological thromboprophylaxis decreased from 24.7% to 14.7% (P<0.01). This was due to a decrease in patient refusal from 18.3% to 9.4% (P<0.01).

Although there was a decrease in the missed doses of thromboprophylaxis, there was no statistically significant change in the rate of hospital-associated VTE.

Bottom line: A multifaceted intervention resulted in a decrease in the proportion of missed and refused doses of pharmacological VTE thromboprophylaxis, but this was not associated with a statistically significant change in VTE rates.

Citation: Baillie CA, Guevara JP, Boston RC, Hecht TE. A unit-based intervention aimed at improving patient adherence to pharmacological thromboprophylaxis [published online ahead of print June 2, 2015]. BMJ Qual Saf. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2015-003992.

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