Venous thromboembolism (VTE) affects over 700,000 Americans annually. Prophylaxis reduces the risk of VTE by 60% but many patients still do not receive risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis. To improve our institution's VTE prophylaxis performance, we developed mandatory computerized clinical decision support-enabled "smart order sets" that required providers to assess VTE risk factors and contraindications to pharmacologic prophylaxis. Using provider responses, the order set recommends evidence-based risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis. To study the impact of our "smart order set" on prescription of risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis and clinical outcomes, we conducted a retrospective chart review of consecutive patients admitted to the Medicine service during one month immediately prior to (November 2007) and a single month subsequent to (April 2010) order set launch. Data collection included patient demographics, VTE risk factors, and the use and type of VTE prophylaxis. The pre- and post-implementation cohorts contained 1,000 and 942 patients, respectively. After implementation of the "smart order set", the prescription of risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis increased from 65.6% to 90.1% (P<0.0001). Orders for any form of VTE prophylaxis increased from 76.4% to 95.6% (P<0.0001). Radiographically documented symptomatic VTE within 90 days of hospital discharge declined from 2.5% to 0.7% (P = 0.002). Preventable harm was completely eliminated (1.1% to 0%, P = 0.001) with no difference in major bleeding or all-cause mortality. A VTE prophylaxis computerized clinical decision support-enabled "smart order set" improved prescription of risk-appropriate VTE prophylaxis, reduced symptomatic VTE and eliminated preventable harm from VTE without increasing major bleeding.
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