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Background: Trauma and subsequent immobilization of the lower limb increase the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Our aim was to evaluate compliance with national guidance on operatively managed ankle fractures and VTE chemoprophylaxis before and after implementation of a change in practice. Methods: We conducted an initial single-center audit of patients undergoing ankle fracture fixation. The primary outcome was quality of operation note documentation, and the secondary outcome was whether VTE chemoprophylaxis was prescribed on discharge. All stakeholders were educated on audit findings, new guidelines were synthesized, and the practice was re-audited. Results: A total of 137 patients were included in the initial audit, and 49 patients were included in the loop closure. The first audit highlighted that chemoprophylaxis prescription on discharge was significantly higher when both the agent and treatment duration were clearly stipulated in the operation note compared to when either treatment duration or both agent and treatment duration were omitted (97.2% vs 51.8% and 32.4%, respectively, P<0.001). Following our intervention, operation note documentation of agent and treatment duration improved from 29% to 90% (P<0.001). VTE chemoprophylaxis on discharge significantly improved from 57% to 98% (P<0.001). Conclusion: Our closed-loop audit identified suboptimal operation note documentation as the root cause of VTE noncompliance. The operation note is an important clinical interface between the operating theater and ward staff. We addressed these deficiencies with a basic intervention.

Original publication




Journal article


Ochsner J

Publication Date





319 - 323


Ankle fractures, anticoagulants, enoxaparin, orthopedics, venous thromboembolism