Exploring sub-optimal use of an electronic risk assessment tool for venous thromboembolism

Melissa T. Baysari*, Nicola Jackson, Sheena Ramasamy, Priscila Santiago, Juan Xiong, Johanna Westbrook, Abdullah Omari, Richard O. Day

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


International guidelines and consensus groups recommend using a risk assessment tool (RAT) to assess Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) risk prior to the prescription of prophylaxis. We set out to examine how an electronic RAT was being used (i.e. if by the right clinician, at the right time, for the right purpose) and to identify factors influencing utilization of the RAT. A sample of 112 risk assessments was audited and 12 prescribers were interviewed. The RAT was used as intended in only 40 (35.7%) cases (i.e. completed by a doctor within 24 h of admission, prior to the prescription of prophylaxis). We identified several reasons for sub-optimal use of the RAT, including beliefs about the need for a RAT, poor awareness of the tool, and poor RAT design. If a user-centred approach had been adopted, it is likely that a RAT would not have been implemented or that problematic design issues would have been identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Venous thromboembolism
  • VTE prophylaxis
  • Electronic risk assessment tool

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