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      Strategies to enhance venous thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized medical patients (SENTRY): a pilot cluster randomized trial

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          Abstract

          Background

          Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common preventable cause of mortality in hospitalized medical patients. Despite rigorous randomized trials generating strong recommendations for anticoagulant use to prevent VTE, nearly 40% of medical patients receive inappropriate thromboprophylaxis. Knowledge-translation strategies are needed to bridge this gap.

          Methods

          We conducted a 16-week pilot cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the proportion of medical patients that were appropriately managed for thromboprophylaxis (according to the American College of Chest Physician guidelines) within 24 hours of admission, through the use of a multicomponent knowledge-translation intervention. Our primary goal was to determine the feasibility of conducting this study on a larger scale. The intervention comprised clinician education, a paper-based VTE risk assessment algorithm, printed physicians’ orders, and audit and feedback sessions. Medical wards at six hospitals (representing clusters) in Ontario, Canada were included; three were randomized to the multicomponent intervention and three to usual care ( i.e., no active strategies for thromboprophylaxis in place). Blinding was not used.

          Results

          A total of 2,611 patients (1,154 in the intervention and 1,457 in the control group) were eligible and included in the analysis. This multicomponent intervention did not lead to a significant difference in appropriate VTE prophylaxis rates between intervention and control hospitals (appropriate management rate odds ratio = 0.80; 95% confidence interval: 0.50, 1.28; p = 0.36; intra-class correlation coefficient: 0.022), and thus was not considered feasible. Major barriers to effective knowledge translation were poor attendance by clinical staff at education and feedback sessions, difficulty locating preprinted orders, and lack of involvement by clinical and administrative leaders . We identified several factors that may increase uptake of a VTE prophylaxis strategy, including local champions, support from clinical and administrative leaders, mandatory use, and a simple, clinically relevant risk assessment tool.

          Conclusions

          Hospitals allocated to our multicomponent intervention did not have a higher rate of medical inpatients appropriately managed for thromboprophylaxis than did hospitals that were not allocated to this strategy.

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          Most cited references 29

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          A tutorial on pilot studies: the what, why and how

          Pilot studies for phase III trials - which are comparative randomized trials designed to provide preliminary evidence on the clinical efficacy of a drug or intervention - are routinely performed in many clinical areas. Also commonly know as "feasibility" or "vanguard" studies, they are designed to assess the safety of treatment or interventions; to assess recruitment potential; to assess the feasibility of international collaboration or coordination for multicentre trials; to increase clinical experience with the study medication or intervention for the phase III trials. They are the best way to assess feasibility of a large, expensive full-scale study, and in fact are an almost essential pre-requisite. Conducting a pilot prior to the main study can enhance the likelihood of success of the main study and potentially help to avoid doomed main studies. The objective of this paper is to provide a detailed examination of the key aspects of pilot studies for phase III trials including: 1) the general reasons for conducting a pilot study; 2) the relationships between pilot studies, proof-of-concept studies, and adaptive designs; 3) the challenges of and misconceptions about pilot studies; 4) the criteria for evaluating the success of a pilot study; 5) frequently asked questions about pilot studies; 7) some ethical aspects related to pilot studies; and 8) some suggestions on how to report the results of pilot investigations using the CONSORT format.
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            Effects of computerized clinical decision support systems on practitioner performance and patient outcomes: a systematic review.

            Developers of health care software have attributed improvements in patient care to these applications. As with any health care intervention, such claims require confirmation in clinical trials. To review controlled trials assessing the effects of computerized clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) and to identify study characteristics predicting benefit. We updated our earlier reviews by searching the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Inspec, and ISI databases and consulting reference lists through September 2004. Authors of 64 primary studies confirmed data or provided additional information. We included randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials that evaluated the effect of a CDSS compared with care provided without a CDSS on practitioner performance or patient outcomes. Teams of 2 reviewers independently abstracted data on methods, setting, CDSS and patient characteristics, and outcomes. One hundred studies met our inclusion criteria. The number and methodologic quality of studies improved over time. The CDSS improved practitioner performance in 62 (64%) of the 97 studies assessing this outcome, including 4 (40%) of 10 diagnostic systems, 16 (76%) of 21 reminder systems, 23 (62%) of 37 disease management systems, and 19 (66%) of 29 drug-dosing or prescribing systems. Fifty-two trials assessed 1 or more patient outcomes, of which 7 trials (13%) reported improvements. Improved practitioner performance was associated with CDSSs that automatically prompted users compared with requiring users to activate the system (success in 73% of trials vs 47%; P = .02) and studies in which the authors also developed the CDSS software compared with studies in which the authors were not the developers (74% success vs 28%; respectively, P = .001). Many CDSSs improve practitioner performance. To date, the effects on patient outcomes remain understudied and, when studied, inconsistent.
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              Prevention of venous thromboembolism: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines (8th Edition).

              This article discusses the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and is part of the Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines (8th Edition). Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do or do not outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggestions imply that individual patient values may lead to different choices (for a full discussion of the grading, see the "Grades of Recommendation" chapter by Guyatt et al). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: we recommend that every hospital develop a formal strategy that addresses the prevention of VTE (Grade 1A). We recommend against the use of aspirin alone as thromboprophylaxis for any patient group (Grade 1A), and we recommend that mechanical methods of thromboprophylaxis be used primarily for patients at high bleeding risk (Grade 1A) or possibly as an adjunct to anticoagulant thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2A). For patients undergoing major general surgery, we recommend thromboprophylaxis with a low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), low-dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH), or fondaparinux (each Grade 1A). We recommend routine thromboprophylaxis for all patients undergoing major gynecologic surgery or major, open urologic procedures (Grade 1A for both groups), with LMWH, LDUH, fondaparinux, or intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC). For patients undergoing elective hip or knee arthroplasty, we recommend one of the following three anticoagulant agents: LMWH, fondaparinux, or a vitamin K antagonist (VKA); international normalized ratio (INR) target, 2.5; range, 2.0 to 3.0 (each Grade 1A). For patients undergoing hip fracture surgery (HFS), we recommend the routine use of fondaparinux (Grade 1A), LMWH (Grade 1B), a VKA (target INR, 2.5; range, 2.0 to 3.0) [Grade 1B], or LDUH (Grade 1B). We recommend that patients undergoing hip or knee arthroplasty or HFS receive thromboprophylaxis for a minimum of 10 days (Grade 1A); for hip arthroplasty and HFS, we recommend continuing thromboprophylaxis > 10 days and up to 35 days (Grade 1A). We recommend that all major trauma and all spinal cord injury (SCI) patients receive thromboprophylaxis (Grade 1A). In patients admitted to hospital with an acute medical illness, we recommend thromboprophylaxis with LMWH, LDUH, or fondaparinux (each Grade 1A). We recommend that, on admission to the ICU, all patients be assessed for their risk of VTE, and that most receive thromboprophylaxis (Grade 1A).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Implement Sci
                Implement Sci
                Implementation Science : IS
                BioMed Central
                1748-5908
                2013
                2 January 2013
                : 8
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
                [3 ]Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program, Hamilton, ON, Canada
                [4 ]Biostatistics Unit, St Joseph’s Healthcare—Hamilton, Hamilton, ON, Canada
                [5 ]Centre for Evaluation of Medicines, St Joseph’s Healthcare—Hamilton, Hamilton, ON, Canada
                Article
                1748-5908-8-1
                10.1186/1748-5908-8-1
                3547806
                23279972
                Copyright ©2013 Pai et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research

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