Timely Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Trauma: A Team Approach to Process Improvement

J Trauma Nurs. 2020 May/Jun;27(3):185-189. doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000509.


Venous thromboembolism is a significant complication in trauma. Multisystem injury, advancing age, surgery, and blood transfusion all contribute to the risk of venous thromboembolism in trauma patients. Our Level I trauma center was identified as an outlier with compliance in timely venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in the Michigan Trauma Quality Improvement Program, a statewide collaborative for improving trauma care. The purpose of this study was to provide an evaluation of a performance improvement project to increase the timely administration of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in admitted trauma patients. Using a Plan-Do-Study-Act method of quality improvement, we initiated a focused, goal-directed team approach that emphasized education, tracking, and feedback. This approach resulted in improved and sustained compliance rates. Resolute focus, audit, and feedback moved our center from a low- to high-performing center for timely venous thromboembolism prophylaxis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quality Improvement / standards*
  • Time Factors
  • Trauma Centers / standards*
  • Trauma Nursing / standards*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / drug therapy*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control*


  • Anticoagulants