IMPORTANCEVenous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients and is largely preventable. Strategies to decrease the burden of VTE have focused on improving clinicians' prescribing of prophylaxis with relatively less emphasis on patient education.OBJECTIVETo develop a patient-centered approach to education of patients and their families on VTE: including importance, risk factors, and benefit/harm of VTE prophylaxis in hospital settings.DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTSThe objective of this study was to develop a patient-centered approach to education of patients and their families on VTE: including importance, risk factors, and benefit/harm of VTE prophylaxis in hospital settings. We implemented a three-phase, web-based survey (SurveyMonkey) between March 2014 and September 2014 and analyzed survey data using descriptive statistics. Four hundred twenty one members of several national stakeholder organizations and a single local patient and family advisory board were invited to participate via email. We assessed participants' preferences for VTE education topics and methods of delivery. Participants wanted to learn about VTE symptoms, risk factors, prevention, and complications in a context that emphasized harm. Although participants were willing to learn using a variety of methods, most preferred to receive education in the context of a doctor-patient encounter. The next most common preferences were for video and paper educational materials.CONCLUSIONSPatients want to learn about the harm associated with VTE through a variety of methods. Efforts to improve VTE prophylaxis and decrease preventable harm from VTE should target the entire continuum of care and a variety of stakeholders including patients and their families.