The digitalization of clinical ordering systems has made a huge difference in the delivery of healthcare in the last few decades. However, there is still room for improvement, especially in the area of collaboration between different providers. We can expect to see more integrated solutions that are capable of supporting clinicians in the coming years.

What is Clinical Orders Management?

At a very high level, clinical orders management is the process of managing, tracking, and monitoring clinical orders that are issued by a physician or other healthcare professional for a patient. It involves verification of the orders to ensure that they are accurate and complete. Orders include medication prescriptions, treatment plans, imaging orders, diagnostics, laboratory tests and other similar medical procedures.

The purpose of clinical orders management is to ensure that orders are issued in a timely and appropriate manner, improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. It’s an important component of electronic health records (EHRs) and is used in conjunction with other types of systems to facilitate the exchange of medical information between providers.

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A hologram medical information system being used by a nurse.

The Standardization of Order Sets and Their Role in Clinical Orders Management

Order set standards are a vehicle for improving the quality of care and reducing the variability of care for a particular diagnosis. This standardization can be accomplished through the creation of a series of algorithms and logic that define the clinical order set. These can be built into the clinical system to automatically generate orders for the patient or built into the EHR and controlled by the clinician.

According to the National Library of Medicine, handwritten and illegible ordering is often done in the acute care setting and is associated with increased adverse events. Instead, using pre-defined order sets and utilizing barcode scanning can improve patient safety. It also acts as a training tool while allowing reminders and alerts to be sent to the provider. The above study shows that order standardization has led to lower medical errors, mortality rates and decreased hospital stays.

The Future of Clinical Orders Management

In addition to standardization being embraced more regularly across multiple healthcare organizations, it’s also becoming more sophisticated. Widespread adoption of clinical decision support systems will occur over the next decade, especially as patient safety initiatives are implemented. These systems will alert clinicians to medication interactions and potential complications and allow for the automatic generation of many different orders.

With changes being made in clinical workflow to improve order standardization, providers have better access to software that supports the various stages of the process. Most notably, clinical decision support systems (CDSS) will play an increasingly important role in the future of clinical orders management.

One key advantage of better access to clinical orders management software is that the burden of order entry will decrease. With these tools, orders can be generated automatically and the healthcare providers can simply review and modify the information before finalizing the order. It’s important for end-users, from nurses to administrators and surgeons, to understand that these systems will allow them to make more informed decisions. However, the decision-making itself must remain with the providers. Over-reliance on clinical decision support systems can lead to a loss of clinical expertise.

Automation, however, can be helpful in many ways and is set to dramatically improve the way we think about healthcare delivery.

Benefits of an Automated Clinical Order Management System

The benefits of an automated clinical order management system include:

Improved patient safety: Clinical orders management helps reduce the risk of medical errors and adverse events. Orders are accurate and verified before being placed in the patient record.

Enhanced efficiency: Electronic ordering systems and automation tools are advantageous in that they reduce manual processes, lessen wait times for patients, and afford personnel more time for other duties.

Minimized misinterpretation: With manual input, orders are susceptible to miscalculations and misinterpretation. With an automated system, the risk of human error is reduced.

Better coordination of care: Automation ensures that all orders related to a patient’s care are coordinated and communicated between healthcare providers, which reduces the possibility of duplicate orders.

Efficient decision-making: When providers have real-time access to patient records, they can be better supported to make informed decisions and improve patient outcomes.

Faster access to treatment: Electronic systems and automation tools can streamline the ordering process, which helps to reduce delays in treatment.

Why Work With Tangible Solutions?

Tangible Solutions offers Happe-Orders, a bi-directional clinical order tool that allows for synchronization of the clinical orders between EHR systems and the referred order service provider. It’s designed to increase efficiency, eliminate duplicate orders, and facilitate accurate patient care. Along with Tangible’s expertise and extensive experience in a variety of subject matters in the healthcare industry, our team has the knowledge and understanding to help you create an integrated clinical order management solution that works for your healthcare organization.

Reach out to Tangible Solutions today to schedule a consultation.