According to a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, a significant number of high-risk patients are not receiving recommended venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis management despite educational programs for healthcare providers.

Study investigators conducted chart reviews of patients at a university-affiliated, tertiary care cardiology center, three and five months before and after the initiation of an educational program on VTE prophylaxis protocol. Before the introduction of the protocol, 36% of patients at risk of VTE did not receive prophylaxis. Three months after the protocol initiation, 21% of at-risk patients were still not being treated according to the VTE guidelines. The percentage rose to 28% at five months after protocol initiation.

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Lead investigator Colette Seifer, MB, FRCP, associate professor at the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, noted that a single time point intervention is unlikely to improve VTE prophylaxis rates because of such a high turnover of senior and junior physicians and nursing staff.

Overall, the guideline-based protocol did significantly increase compliance. Study authors suggest that electronic patient records and software programs with automated alerts and checklists may further improve compliance rates.

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