Inpatient thromboprophylaxis use in U.S. hospitals: Adherence to the seventh American College of Chest Physician's recommendations for at-risk medical and surgical patients




The clinical venous thromboembolism (VTE) burden remains high in the United States, despite guidelines recommending that safe and effective VTE prophylaxis be available. This study assesses the real-world rate of appropriate inpatient VTE prophylaxis in hospitalized U.S. medical and surgical patients at risk of VTE, in accordance with the seventh American College of Chest Physicians, (ACCP) guidelines.


Medical and surgical discharges from Premier's Perspective™ database between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006 were considered. Discharges aged ≥40 years, with a length of stay ≥6 days, at risk of VTE due to the presence of ≥1 VTE risk factors identified by the seventh ACCP guidelines, and without contraindications for anticoagulation, were included in the analysis. Appropriate prophylaxis was determined by comparing the daily use, dosage, and duration of anticoagulants and compression devices with the seventh ACCP recommendations for each medical condition or surgical procedure.


A total of 390,024 discharges met the inclusion criteria, of which 201,224 (51.6%) were medical discharges and 188,800 (48.4%) were surgical discharges. Overall, 65.9% of medical discharges and 77.7% of surgical discharges received at least 1 order for VTE prophylaxis during hospitalization. However, only 12.7% of medical discharges and 16.4% of surgical discharges received appropriate prophylaxis when the recommended prophylaxis type, dose, and duration from the seventh ACCP guidelines were taken into account.


Few medical and surgical patients at high risk of VTE receive appropriate inpatient prophylaxis in accordance with guideline recommendations. It is important for individual hospitals to improve VTE prophylaxis practices to meet national performance initiatives. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2009;4:E15–E21. © 2009 Society of Hospital Medicine.