We evaluated the effects of integrating order subsets for the most common medical diagnoses into a general medical admission order set of our electronic medical records (EMR) in order to improve order set integration by clinicians.
Methods of implementation
We identified the most common primary and secondary diagnoses for patients admitted to our medical service and developed order subsets comprising only of the orders necessary for the management of these individual diagnoses. Using the capabilities of our computerized physician order entry (CPOE), we nested these order subsets into the general order set and evaluated the resulting change in order set utilization by our clinicians.
Example and observations
The total number of order sets used by clinicians in all departments increased fivefold during the 16-month period following the implementation of the integrated order sets in July 2008. A before and after time series was used to analyze the trend in increased order set usage and showed an effect of the intervention (p=0.023).
Integration of disease specific order subsets into a single general admission order set significantly improved the overall adoption of order sets by clinicians. This provides health care systems with the opportunity to improve patient safety and implement evidence based care in clinical practice.
Keywords: Computerized physician order entry, electronic medical record, standardized order, nested order, usual, CPOE, improving the utilization of admission order sets, machine learning