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Digital Pharma: NHS thrombosis e-learning

pharmafile | January 14, 2011 | News story | Medical Communications Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Digital Pharma blog, NHS training, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, VTE, e-learning, venous thromboembolism 

The NHS has launched a best-practice website to help educate healthcare professionals about one of the most common causes of preventable hospital deaths in the UK.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is responsible for an estimated 25,000 patient deaths in England each year and online hub aims to share and showcase the work of the NHS VTE Exemplar Centre network.

The site officially went live in November and is being supported by Sanofi-Aventis, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Bayer through unrestricted educational grants.

Among the King’s Thrombosis Centre’s online resources is a groundbreaking VTE e-learning module for front-line medical professionals to help them quickly and effectively understand the concept of hospital-acquired VTE and identify necessary steps on the ‘prevention pathway’.

Professor Gerard Stansby, chair of NICE’s VTE Prevention Quality Standard Expert Group, said: “The e-VTE learning package is a superb resource developed to educate NHS staff in to how to assess and prevent VTE in hospital patients. It is clear, highly informative and easy to use. It will be a key tool in the campaign to prevent the many thousands of avoidable deaths that occur annually from this condition.”

John Black, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, added: “It is astonishing that thirty years after it was proven beyond doubt that prophylaxis works, not all patients are assessed for risk and lives are being lost. I endorse this excellent course wholeheartedly.”

The website was developed by Dr Roopen Arya, who is director at the King’s Thrombosis Centre. King’s was named the first NHS VTE Exemplar Centre in 2007 and is now part of a network of 18 VTE Exemplar Centres.

The King’s Thrombosis Centre website includes a range of clinical information, training tools and best-practice advice for medical professionals, including clinicians, pharmacists, nurses and laboratory staff.

Its aim is to promote and develop best practice in VTE prevention and care and offer NHS staff a ‘one-stop-ship’ for thrombosis information.

Dr Arya said: “The hub provides the best, most up-to-date and comprehensive bank of VTE data and support tools for medical staff. Combating hospital-acquired VTE remains a huge challenge for all of us in primary and secondary care.

“But I am confident that the VTE Exemplar Network portal will significantly assist all of us committed to preventing and effectively treating VTE and providing the best medical advice and care to our patients.”

Pharma backers for VTE education site

The site’s four pharma backers – Sanofi, Pfizer, Boehringer and Bayer – are joined in supporting the project by medical products company Covidien.

VTE is a major area of interest for pharma at the moment, with a new wave of drugs led by Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) and Bayer’s Xarelto (rivaroxaban) now reaching the market.

Bayer recently submitted Xarelto for European regulatory approval in a number of additional, related indications and Pfizer/BMS’ developmental apixaban could soon add to the treatments already on the market.

Prior to the emergence of these drugs the standard treatment for VTE hadn’t changed in more than 50 years with doctors confined to using warfarin, an oral anti-clotting agent that interacts with many common medications and requires close GP monitoring.

The King’s Thrombosis Centre will be added to Digital Pharma’s links directory as part of its next scheduled update 

Dominic Tyer is web editor for Pharmafocus and and the author of the Digital Pharma blog He can be contacted via email, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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