Compliance with recommended prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism: improving the use and rate of uptake of clinical practice guidelines

J Thromb Haemost. 2004 Feb;2(2):221-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7933.2004.00588.x.


Although several authoritative, evidence-based, guidelines for the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) have been published, the use of VTE prophylaxis in routine clinical practice varies markedly. Even in orthopedic surgery, the indication for which prophylaxis is used most often, a significant proportion of surgeons do not use routine prophylaxis. When prophylaxis is used, guideline recommendations are often not followed. A number of factors may contribute to the under-use of guidelines. Physician-related factors include: a lack of awareness of, or familiarity with, the guidelines; a perception that VTE is not a significant problem or that VTE prophylaxis is ineffective; and concern about potential bleeding risks. The guidelines may also be perceived to be too complicated or difficult to apply in a routine manner. In addition, a lack of facilities or resources may also present a barrier to implementation of the guidelines. A number of strategies are being investigated in an attempt to improve compliance with guidelines for VTE prophylaxis. For example, the Investigators Against Thromboembolism (INATE) initiative has developed a simplified pocket guideline on VTE prophylaxis in orthopedic and trauma surgery in order to raise awareness of the current guideline recommendations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Premedication*
  • Thromboembolism / drug therapy
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control*
  • Venous Thrombosis / drug therapy
  • Venous Thrombosis / prevention & control*