Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common cause of preventable harm in hospitalized patients. While numerous successful interventions have been implemented to improve prescription of VTE prophylaxis, a substantial proportion of doses of prescribed preventive medications are not administered to hospitalized patients. The purpose of this trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of nurse education on medication administration practice.
Methods: This was a double-blinded, cluster randomized trial in 21 medical or surgical floors of 933 nurses at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, an academic medical center, from April 1, 2014 -March 31, 2015. Nurses were cluster-randomized by hospital floor to receive either a linear static education (Static) module with voiceover or an interactive learner-centric dynamic scenario-based education (Dynamic) module. The primary and secondary outcomes were non-administration of prescribed VTE prophylaxis medication and nurse-reported satisfaction with education modules, respectively.
Results: Overall, non-administration improved significantly following education (12.4% vs. 11.1%, conditional OR: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.80-0.95, p = 0.002) achieving our primary objective. The reduction in non-administration was greater for those randomized to the Dynamic arm (10.8% vs. 9.2%, conditional OR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.72-0.95) versus the Static arm (14.5% vs. 13.5%, conditional OR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.81-1.03), although the difference between arms was not statistically significant (p = 0.26). Satisfaction scores were significantly higher (p<0.05) for all survey items for nurses in the Dynamic arm.
Conclusions: Education for nurses significantly improves medication administration practice. Dynamic learner-centered education is more effective at engaging nurses. These findings suggest that education should be tailored to the learner.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02301793.