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  1. Fitzgerald, Jan


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a primary cause of preventable hospital death. The need for effective VTE prophylaxis has been recognized by the Surgical Care Improvement Program (SCIP) and the Joint Commission, which is offering VTE prevention as a core measure set, starting October 1, 2009. The adoption of SCIP VTE measures and mandate to publicly report these rates offers the opportunity to improve the use of prophylaxis in surgical patients and reduce VTE-related morbidity, mortality, and costs. Essential to this reduction is a team approach to implementing real-time interventions. Crucial to the success of the team is early identification of each patient's VTE risk and a mechanism to provide key information to ensure that the physician prescribes appropriate prophylaxis. In addition, it may be the nurse who is responsible for ensuring that a patient receives the appropriate prophylaxis, as well as being the first clinician to observe the clinical signs of a VTE event.