Ordering is an activity of health care prescribers whereby tasks are identified, allocated and timed so that investigations, medications and other interventions support patient care goals.
A variety of circumstances can lead to inpatient Order messiness. Complex transfers – to or from emergency, critical care, operating room, dialysis, inpatient and reactivation services – can generate Order litter in the form of duplicate, orphaned (not associated with a phase of care) or inactive Orders not cleared by prescribers on either side of a context shift. This disorder can make it harder to recognize and manage important Orders. It can also bloat summative documents, such as transfer reports.
Periodic “deOrderizing” should be done to find and remove inappropriate, unnecessary or misleading strays. Prescribers may be asked to do this by other health care team members who struggle to manage patients’ Orders. This Tip outlines two activity-based processes that can restore order to Orders.