Electronic alerts to prevent venous thromboembolism among hospitalized patients.
With reported underutilization of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis, this study examined the impact of a computer alert program to increase use and reduce the incidence of DVT. Investigators linked a software program to an existing patient database to identify patients at risk who were not receiving prophylaxis. The provider involved then received an alert and was given a number of appropriate options. Results demonstrated increased use of both mechanical and pharmacologic prophylaxis, as well as decreased incidence of DVT and pulmonary emboli. The authors conclude that use of electronic alerts in institutions with available information technology can lead to improved care.