Prevention of venous thromboembolism in postoperative abdominal patients: a best practice implementation project

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This project's aim was to ensure that venous thromboembolism assessment was performed accurately, and that adequate prophylaxis was followed-up, resulting in a decrease in the incidence of venous thromboembolism postoperatively and enhancing recovery after surgery.


Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. Evidence suggests that the majority of hospital patients are at risk for VTE, but the prophylaxis recommended for their risk factors are not adequately utilized. Venous thromboembolism prevention is primarily based on an adequate risk stratification.


A baseline audit on VTE prevention utilizing the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System program was undertaken and involved 21 nurses and 30 patients. An intervention including VTE education, clinical practice and prophylaxis was conducted, following which a post-implementation re-audit was undertaken.


The baseline audit results showed that four audit criteria results were found to under 30%, which indicated poor compliance with the current evidence. After implementing the strategies, including education, VTE video, etc., there was a huge improvement, with most of the audit criteria achieving 100% compliance.


Overall the project achieved a significant improvement in evidence-based practice in the prevention of VTE, implemented in two wards. Sustaining best practice should be planned for the future.

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