Educational outreach visits to improve nurses' use of mechanical venous thromboembolism prevention in hospitalized medical patients
Duff, J and Walker, K and Omari, A and Middleton, S and McInnes, E, Educational outreach visits to improve nurses' use of mechanical venous thromboembolism prevention in hospitalized medical patients, Journal of Vascular Nursing, 31, (4) pp. 139-149. ISSN 1062-0303 (2013) [Refereed Article]
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized medical patients.
Evidence-based guidelines exist for preventing VTE; unfortunately, these guidelines are not always adhered to by clinicians.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the acceptability, utility and clinical impact of an educational outreach visit
(EOV) on nurses’ provision of mechanical prophylaxis to hospitalized medical patients using a prospective, uncontrolled,
before-and-after design. Nurses received a 1-to-1 educational session on mechanical VTE prevention by a trained nurse
facilitator. The EOV intervention was designed by a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals using social marketing
theory. Eighty-five of the 120 eligible nurses (71%) attended the EOV. The median length of each visit was 11.5 minutes
(interquartile range [IQR], 10–15) and the median time spent arranging and conducting each visit was 63 minutes
(IQR, 49–85). Eighty-four (99%) of the 85 participants gave a verbal commitment to trial the new evidence-based mechanical
VTE prevention practices. However, there were no measurable improvements in the proportion of patients risk assessed
(–1.7% improvement; 95% confidence interval [CI], –7.0 to 10.3; P = .68) or provided appropriate mechanical
prophylaxis (0.3% improvement; 95% CI, 13.4 to 14; P = .96). Researchers conclude that EOV should not be used
to improve nurses’ use of mechanical VTE prevention because it has no measurable impact on clinical practice and is
resource intensive, requiring 4.5 minutes of preparation for every minute spent face to face with participants. Further research
into the specific mechanism of action is required to explain the variability in clinical effect seen with this intervention.
(J Vasc Nurs 2013;31:139-149)