Problem: Despite clear prophylactic guidelines and national quality emphasis, a minority of hospitalized patients receive appropriate prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism (VTE). Data from the University of Kansas Hospital (KUH) revealed an unacceptably high incidence of VTE.
Approach: The authors aligned continuing education with quality improvement through formation of an interprofessional, multidisciplinary team to develop strategic educational and system operational plans to decrease VTE incidence. The authors reviewed 261 charts with the secondary diagnosis of VTE for identification of themes or causes of VTE to develop multipronged educational and system-based action plans. The authors reviewed a “menu” of evidence-based content delivery techniques to develop the educational plan. Multiple noneducational adjunct system strategies were also developed and implemented.
Outcomes: After implementation of all specific action plans, the KUH VTE incidence decreased 51% from November 2010 to June 2012 (from 12.68 to 6.10 per 1,000 patients). Insertion of peripherally inserted central catheters, a common identified theme, dropped from almost 360 insertions in December of 2010 to less than 200 insertions in April 2012.
Next Steps: Aligning continuing education with quality improvement through an interprofessional, multidisciplinary team approach was associated with a decrease in VTE. The authors describe challenges and lessons learned to inform implementation of similar quality-improvement-driven continuing education initiatives elsewhere. Challenges included time, resources, multiple service lines, and departments with variable acceptance of data. Lessons learned included the value of leadership commitment, interprofessional team work, assessing individual data, expertise of continuing education, using multiple educational methods, and the need for overall champions.