Implementation of a computerized multidisciplinary order set in the electronic health record improves the quality of pharmacologic prescribing for patients hospitalized for COPD exacerbations.

Kirsten E. Brown, DO, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues performed a study before and after implementation of a computerized physician order set for patients hospitalized for COPD exacerbations. The authors examined the rate of zero prescribing errors by physicians for inpatient and discharge drugs for COPD for a one-year period before and six-month period after implementation (194 and 81 COPD exacerbation admissions, respectively).

The researchers found that the percentage of patients receiving all recommended pharmacologic therapies increased from the pre-implementation period to post-implementation period (18.6 to 54.3%; P < 0.001). There was also a decrease in the mean number of errors, from 1.76 to 0.65 (P < 0.001). Over the six-month post-implementation period, improvements were sustained. There was a decrease in hospital length of stay, from 4.0 ± 3.0 days pre-implementation to 2.9 ± 1.9 days post-implementation (P = 0.002).

“Computerized multidisciplinary admission order set implementation for patients hospitalized for a COPD exacerbation improved physicians’ adherence to evidence-based pharmacologic treatment, and [was] associated with reductions in length of hospital stay,” the authors write.

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