Hi fellow #ClinicalInformatics, #Informatics, #HealthIT, #CMIO, #CNIO, #CPOE, #workflow, and other #design thinking friends,
Order sets - If you work in Clinical Informatics, you probably have a lot of experience with them.
Order sets offer great opportunity, and can really help streamline clinical processes and create predictable outcomes. Since they are a part of the medical record that every doctor uses (like Larry Weed, MD once said), they can help guide and teach. In my 13 years of designing them, I've seen remarkable standardization in processes, reduction in variation, and improved outcomes when they are designed well.
For those who design and build them, however, here are the five most common challenges :
- People without solid order set experience often don't budget properly from them, from a time or resources perspective. (They often take more work than most people would initially imagine.)
- Doing them well often requires a great deal of effort and coordination between multiple clinical stakeholders (Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists, and often other ancillary services, operational leaders, finance, legal/compliance, etc.)
- It's not just the effort to create them - It's also the effort to maintain them.
- People often disagree about the best way to create, review, test, approve, and publish them.
- Managing expectations can take time, especially when people try to use them to solve complex training/education or utilization problems.
You'll notice that it's a general-purpose ice-cream order set, addressing some common scenarios :
- It's fairly flexible, allowing you to eat as little as a single scoop in a bowl or cup, or as much as multiple pints.
- It does a decent job addressing common allergies (lactose, peanut, dairy, etc.)
- It uses fairly standardized units of measurement, which are reasonable for most ice-cream consumption purposes.
- It lets you select a number of toppings - and even finishes with a cherry on top.
- It only offers three flavors - Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. (Imagine trying to index an order set to offer more complex flavor combinations?)
- While it has decision-support built in to help guide an ordering provider to the right choices, it does require a doctor to order the ice cream differently, depending on the utensils and container (cup/bowl versus the ice-cream container)
- Some Clinical Informatics friends have suggested it should have some alerts and hard-stops for people with certain food allergies (e.g. should you be able to order peanuts if you have a peanut allergy?)