Evidence-based sets of medical orders for the treatment of patients with common conditions have the potential to induce greater efficiency and convenience across the system, along with more consistent health outcomes. Despite ongoing utilization of order sets, quantitative evidence of their effectiveness is lacking. In this study, conducted at Advocate Health Care in Illinois, we quantitatively analyzed the benefits of community acquired pneumonia order sets as measured by mortality, readmission, and length of stay (LOS) outcomes.
In this study, we examined five years (2007–2011) of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) data from two city and two suburban community care hospitals. Mortality and readmissions benefits were analyzed by comparing “order set” and “no order set” groups of adult patients using logistic regression, Pearson’s chi-squared, and Fisher’s exact methods. LOS was calculated by applying one-way ANOVA and the Mann-Whitney U test, supplemented by analysis of comorbidity via the Charlson Comorbidity Index.
The results indicate that patient treatment orders placed via electronic sets were effective in reducing mortality [OR=1.787; 95% CF 1.170-2.730; P=.061], readmissions [OR=1.362; 95% CF 1.015-1.827; P=.039], and LOS [F (1,5087)=6.885, P=.009, 4.79 days (no order set group) vs. 4.32 days (order set group)].
Evidence-based ordering practices have the potential to improve pneumonia outcomes through reduction of mortality, hospital readmissions, and cost of care. However, the practice must be part of a larger strategic effort to reduce variability in patient care processes. Further experimental and/or observational studies are required to reduce the barriers to retrospective patient care analyses.
Keywords: evidence-based medicine, medication order sets, health outcomes research, pneumonia, computerized physician order entry (CPOE).