Computer-based tools to assess venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk have been shown to increase VTE pharmacoprophylaxis rates and decrease VTE incidence in high-risk hospitalized patients. However, VTE risk may be underestimated using computer-based tools alone. We tested the effect of a provider-enhanced clinical decision support (CDS) tool on VTE pharmacoprophylaxis and VTE incidence in patients who would have been deemed "low risk" using a computer-based risk-assessment tool alone. The study sample was adult patients hospitalized during a 13-month period who were determined to be at low risk for VTE with a computer-based risk-assessment tool. The provider-enhanced CDS tool was implemented 4 months into the study period and required providers to stratify patients as being at high, moderate, or low risk for VTE. We compared rates of VTE pharmacoprophylaxis and VTE incidence before and after implementation of the provider-enhanced CDS tool. There were 1322 patients in the 4-month pre-implementation period and 3347 patients in the 9-month post-implementation period who were determined to be at low risk for VTE based on a computer-based risk-assessment tool. Using the provider-enhanced CDS tool, providers stratified 31% of these computer-assigned low-risk patients as being at moderate risk for VTE and 7% as being at high risk for VTE. The rate of VTE pharmacoprophylaxis increased from 27% to 34% (P < 0.01). The venous thromboprophylaxis rate decreased from 0.98% to 0.42% after implementation of the provider-enhanced CDS tool (P < 0.02). Patients identified as being at low risk for VTE solely by computer-based algorithms may include patients whom providers determine to be at risk for VTE. Provider-enhanced CDS tools may outperform computer-based VTE risk-stratification algorithms.
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