Modes of Failure in Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis

Cheryl D. Richie, Jennifer T. Castle, George A. Davis, Joseph L. Bobadilla, Qiang He, Mary B. Moore, Tricia A. Kellenbarger, Eleftherios S. Xenos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is associated with potentially preventable in-hospital morbidity and mortality. Although evidence-based guidelines are widely available, their application in clinical practice varies markedly. VTE prophylaxis involves a multistep dynamic process that can fail at various points during hospital stay. Our aim was to identify defects in VTE prophylaxis. Upon admission, our patients undergo VTE risk stratification and orders for prophylaxis are entered. All patients that fulfill the criteria for the Patient Safety Indicator (PSI)-12, as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, are prospectively entered in a database. From a review of 138 PSI-12 patients, only 21 had correct risk stratification and appropriate chemoprophylaxis during their hospital stay; 70 had been incorrectly stratified, with 28 of these patients receiving incorrect prophylaxis due to incorrect stratification, thus delaying the correct administration of chemoprophylaxis for >24 h. Inadequate application of mechanical prophylaxis was noted in 114 patients. VTE prophylaxis relies on correct risk stratification, ordering appropriate pharmacomechanical measures and, finally, the delivery of this treatment throughout the hospital stay. A large percentage of patients who had a thromboembolic complication received inadequate prophylaxis. This study identifies potential areas for intervention to improve VTE prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-715
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • prophylaxis
  • risk stratification
  • venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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