Background: Computerised provider order entry (CPOE) is rapidly becoming the mainstay in clinical care and has the potential to improve provider efficiency and accuracy. However, this hinges on careful planning and implementation. Poorly planned CPOE order sets can lead to undetected errors and waste. In our emergency department (ED), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was bundled into various blood work panels but had little clinical value.
Objectives: This quality improvement initiative aimed to reduce unnecessary LDH testing in the ED.
Methods: A group of ED physicians reviewed CPOE blood work panels and uncoupled LDH in conditions where it was deemed not to provide any clinically useful information. We measured the daily number of LDH tests performed before and after its removal. We tracked the frequency of other serum tests as controls. We also analysed the number of add-on LDH (ie, to add LDH to samples already sent to the lab) as a balancing measure, since this can disrupt work flow and delay care.
Results: Through this intervention, we reduced the number of LDH tests performed by 69%, from an average of 75.1 tests per day to 23.2 (P<0.0005). The baseline controls did not differ after the intervention (eg, a complete blood count was performed 197.7 and 196.1 times per day preintervention and postintervention, respectively (P=0.7663)). There was less than one add-on LDH per day on average.
Conclusions: CPOE care templates can be powerful in shaping behaviours and reducing variability. However, close oversight of these panels is necessary to prevent errors and waste.
Authors: Joseph Choi and Cori Rebecca Atlin
Joseph Choi - email@example.com