SHM's VTE 'resource room'

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) developed a web-based educational resource for hospitalists, a VTE "resource room" ( "The overarching goal of SHM was to bridge the gap between the best evidence in terms of medical prophylaxis and actual practice," Sylvia McKean, MD, SFHM, FACP, a senior hospitalist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, notes.

"Even though the risk of VTE is lower in medical patients than in surgical patients, larger numbers of people are at risk because there are so many medical patients and because these patients are not receiving appropriate prophylaxis." In addition, she notes, the society's core competencies in hospital medicine, issued in 2006, include having hospitalists know how to do a risk assessment for VTE and prescribe appropriate prophylaxis for hospitalized patients.

The resource room includes the following information:

  • how to use the resources;
  • getting started;
  • project planning and implementation;
  • monitoring and learning;
  • continuing to improve;
  • sample protocols, order sets, and other tools.

This resource, notes McKean, presents principles for conducting QI in the hospital and includes sections such as "Ask the Expert," an interactive discussion community, an improvement workbook, and a downloadable project outline and tutorial.

Quality managers, she adds, should know that this site is available to non-SHM members as well. What's more, she says, the site is updated every six months. In addition to VTE, SHM has developed web-based resource rooms for the following intervention areas:

  • acute coronary syndrome;
  • BOOSTing care transitions;
  • complicated skin and skin structure infections;
  • glycemic control;
  • heart failure;
  • antimicrobial resistance;
  • stroke.

"Your quality improvement person can access the site, and if they go to the resource room, it tells you what to do and how to initiate the intervention," notes McKean. "There's actually a QI workbook for every single condition."

In addition, SHM sponsors a "VTE Prevention Collaborative," through which hospital QI teams receive a year of mentoring from SHM experts to design, evaluate, and sustain a VTE prevention initiative. Mentors work with each site leader to tackle site-specific issues; mentoring includes scheduled telephone calls over a 12-month period, e-mail support, and instruction organized around the "VTE QI Implementation Guide."

A new cohort of 50 hospitals will be accepted into the collaborative in July 2010. For information about the program, contact: