Original Research

Advancing Order Set Design

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Results

The 4-step order set design technique was used during development of an inpatient NRT order set at the JAHVH. Results for the inpatient Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures were obtained from the Veterans Health Administration quality metric reporting system known as Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL). SAIL performance measure outcomes, which include the inpatient Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures, are derived from chart reviews conducted by the External Peer Review Program. Outcomes demonstrated that TOB-2 and TOB-3 (2 inpatient Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures) known as tob20 and tob40, respectively, within SAIL improved by more than 300% after development of an NRT order set using the 4-step order set design framework along with implementation of a multifaceted tobacco cessation care delivery system at JAHVH.

Discussion

While the overall tobacco cessation care delivery system contributed to improved outcomes with the inpatient Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures at JAHVH, the NRT order set was a cornerstone of the design. Although using our order set design technique does not necessarily guarantee successful outcomes, we believe using the 4-step order set design process increases the value of order sets and has potential to improve quality outcomes.

Limitations

Although improved outcomes following implementation of our NRT order set suggest correlation, causation cannot be proven. Also while the NRT order set is believed to have helped tremendously with outcomes, the entire tobacco cessation care delivery system at JAHVH contributed to the results. In addition, the inpatient Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures help improve processes for tobacco cessation care. However, we are uncertain whether the results of our improvement efforts helped patients stop tobacco use. Further studies are needed to determine impact on population health. Finally, our results were based on improvement work done at a single center. Further studies are necessary to see whether results are reproducible.

Conclusion

There was significant improvement with the inpatient Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures outcomes following development of a tobacco cessation care delivery system that included design of an inpatient NRT order set using a 4-step process we developed. This 4-step structure includes emphasis on efficiency and ease of use; human factors engineering; failure mode and effects analysis; and incorporation of evidence-based medicine (Box.) Postimplementation results showed improvement of the inpatient Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures by greater than 3-fold at a single hospital.

The next steps for this initiative include testing the 4-step order set design process in multiple clinical settings to determine the effectiveness of this approach in other areas of clinical care.

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