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ORDER SETS IN HEALTH CARE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THEIR EFFECTS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2012

Alvita J. Chan
Affiliation:
University Health Network; University of Toronto email: alvita.chan@uhn.ca
Julie Chan
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
Joseph A. Cafazzo
Affiliation:
University Health Network; University of Toronto
Peter G. Rossos
Affiliation:
University Health Network; University of Toronto
Tim Tripp
Affiliation:
University Health Network
Kaveh Shojania
Affiliation:
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto
Tanya Khan
Affiliation:
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Anthony C. Easty
Affiliation:
University Health Network; University of Toronto

Abstract

Objectives: Order sets are widely used in hospitals to enter diagnosis and treatment orders. To determine the effectiveness of order sets in improving guideline adherence, treatment outcomes, processes of care, efficiency, and cost, we conducted a systematic review of the literature.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed in various databases for studies published between January 1, 1990, and April 18, 2009. A total of eighteen studies met inclusion criteria. No randomized controlled trials were found.

Results: Outcomes of the included studies were summarized qualitatively due to variations in study population, intervention type, and outcome measures. There were no important inconsistencies between the results reported by studies involving different types of order sets. While the studies generally suggested positive outcomes, they were typically of low quality, with simple before-after designs and other methodological limitations.

Conclusions: The benefits of order sets remain eminently plausible, but given the paucity of high quality evidence, further investigations to formally evaluate the effectiveness of order sets would be highly valuable.

Type
ASSESSMENTS
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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