Audit and Feedback to Surgery Interns and Residents on Prescribing Risk-Appropriate Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis

Jonathan K. Aboagye, Elliott R. Haut, Michael B. Streiff, Deborah B. Hobson, Peggy S. Kraus, Dauryne L. Shaffer, Christine G. Holzmueller, Brandyn D. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of feedback using an emailed scorecard and a web-based dashboard on risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis prescribing practices among general surgery interns and residents. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, an urban academic medical center. Participants: All 45 trainees (19 post-graduate year [PGY] 1 interns and 26 PGY-2 to PGY-5 residents) in our general surgery program. Intervention: Feedback implementation encompassed three sequential periods: (1) scorecard (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015); (2) no feedback/wash-in (July 1 through October 31, 2015); and (3) web-based dashboard (November 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016). No feedback served as the baseline period for the intern cohort. The scorecard was a static document showing an individual's compliance with risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis prescription compared to compliance of their de-identified peers. The web-based dashboard included other information (e.g., patient details for suboptimal prophylaxis orders) besides individual compliance compared to their de-identified peers. Trainees could access the dashboard anytime to view current and historic performance. We sent monthly emails to all trainees for both feedback mechanisms. Main outcome was proportion of patients prescribed risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis, and mean percentages reported. Results: During this study, 4088 VTE prophylaxis orders were placed. Among residents, mean prescription of risk-appropriate prophylaxis was higher in the wash-in (98.4% vs 95.6%, p < 0.001) and dashboard (98.4 vs 95.6%, p < 0.001) periods compared to the scorecard period. There was no difference in mean compliance between the wash-in and dashboard periods (98.4% vs 98.4%, p = 0.99). Among interns, mean prescription of risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis improved between the wash-in and dashboard periods (91.5% vs 96.4%, p < 0.001). Conclusions and Relevance: Using audit and individualized performance feedback to general surgery trainees through a web-based dashboard improved prescribing of appropriate VTE prophylaxis to a near-perfect performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2011-2019
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • audit
  • education
  • feedback
  • prophylaxis
  • residents
  • venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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