Order Up: Improving Patient Safety with Epic

A new study finds that standard tools can help avert ordering errors


When your child is sick, updated ordering processes can help him get the right treatment. Researchers at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children used Epic ordering tools to improve communication among the patient’s care team and reduce the risk of medication dose or interval errors when ordering infliximab, a common prescription for autoimmune diseases.

The child’s care team uses an interactive flowsheet that pulls together medication history information, prescriber plans for future therapy, and pertinent labs so that they have the latest information about his treatment. Pharmacists use this flowsheet to double-check that the right dose and interval of the medication has been ordered.

After using the improved process, audits showed that future therapy plans was entered more often and 100% of users surveyed planned to continue using the workflow. The researchers concluded, “Prescribers and pharmacists believe that these tools improve the safety and efficiency of infliximab ordering, and auditing data reveal that the tools are being used.”

Read the study in The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics.