Are Your Order Sets in Order?

Posted on April 21, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Healthcare transformation is driving healthcare providers to focus on quality, value-based purchasing and accountable care. While CPOE (computerized physician order entry) has become an important tool to meet their goals, a robust order set integrated within CPOE is critical.

A December 2013 HIMSS Analytics survey with responses from nearly 500 healthcare organizations highlighted the current state of healthcare providers’ order set deployment, use, and needs. Survey results revealed that the common challenges respondents faced with their order set solutions were lack of integration with an electronic health record (EHR) and lack of functionality and usability, both of which lead to underutilization and suboptimal clinical workflow.

The results of this survey and more order set analysis is found in this whitepaper called “The Importance of Order Sets.” I love the whitepaper’s analysis of order set integration with EHR software (and associated challenges) and the ability of organizations to update their order sets.

I think we’ve certainly seen an evolution in the world of order sets. When EHR first started, doctors were happy to create their own order sets. These EHR early adopters wanted to customize everything to their exact need. However, over time doctors have wanted to buy an EHR which just worked right out of the box. This included having order sets that are already ready to go and updated regularly without much work on their part. Plus, the early adopters have started to realize how quickly an order set can become outdated if its not looked at regularly.

Order sets are one part of the movement towards evidence based medicine. However, we need deeper integration with evidence based medicine guidelines and order sets into the EHR. This has to become a normal part of the workflow to be really effective. I’m excited that most EHR vendors are at the point where they can make this a reality.