Introduction: The effectiveness of mechanical prophylaxis for the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) incidence are methodically described in recent randomized controlled trials. Nurses are pivotal in the immediate application and maintenance of sequential compression device (SCD) therapy especially in those with pharmacological therapy contraindications. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), no longer reimburses for this cumulative cost of VTE since it is a preventable event. The Purpose of this IRB-approved study was to determine the impact of educational intervention on mechanical VTE prophylaxis.

Methods and Study Design: In this pre/post quasi-experimental study, a retrospective chart re-view of patients admitted for an acute medical condition from August 1st to December 31st 2017 (pre-educational campaign) and from July 1st to November 30th 2018 (post-educational campaign) was generated from MIDAS with a total of 924 patient charts meeting the eligibility criteria. The patients’ data were collected through Cerner which included: age, reason for admission, type of VTE prophylaxis ordered, time to initiation of VTE prophylaxis, contraindications, and the total number of reminder calls to nurses who failed to apply the mechanical VTE prophylaxis admitted to one of the following hospital floors: ICU, 4 South, 3 South, 3 North, and Observation. An educational intervention on the mechanical VTE prophylaxis using the PowerPoint or hand-outs, was implemented for 2 weeks (June 17-30, 2018) for day and night shift nurses working two or more shifts per week caring for patients in the same hospital floors. A survey that included the nurses’ demographics and their barriers to the timely initiation of mechanical VTE prophylaxis was concurrently conducted prior to the educational intervention. A high participation rate of 91% of the total nurses' population completed the research survey. The objectives included: to compare the number of reminder calls on the timely initiation of mechanical VTE prophylaxis among patients admitted pre-and post-educational campaign; and to explore the direct patient care nurses’ barriers to implementing VTE prophylaxis within 24-hours of a patient’s admission.

Results: The study showed that the greatest barriers to adherence are: mechanical devices were not available to use (n=101); no physician order (n=89); patients' refusal to wear SCDs (n=82), and lack of standardized protocol (n=39). The majority of the sample had SCD ordered (n = 800, 87.6%). A total of 32 patients (3.5%) did not have a VTE ordered by the attending physician but still had an SCD placed before discharge by a nurse who initiated the process post- intervention. A Mann-Whitney U independent test was conducted for the number of calls and time to VTE in minutes by unit. The number of calls and time to VTE in minutes was significantly associated with the intervention group (alpha = 0.05).

Conclusion: A statistically significant improvement on the VTE reminder call logs after the educational intervention was noted. We demonstrated that a combination of educational campaign which includes institutional data on the nurses’ barriers to adherence and standardized methods of mechanical VTE prophylaxis ensure a substantial change in our practice and preventing VTE incidence.

Publication Date


Presented At:

14th Annual BHSF Research Conference

Content Type

Poster Presentation

Open Access

Available to all.