To improve the frequency of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) of discharge prescriptions at a children’s hospital via a bundle of quality improvement interventions.
Surveys and focus groups were conducted with patient families and pediatric residents to identify barriers and propose solutions to e-prescribing. These data were used to generate a series of interventions, including the following: (1) provider education; (2) changes in patient registration workflow; and (3) electronic health record changes to improve the frequency of e-prescribing on the pediatric hospital medicine (PHM) service. The primary outcome measure was the e-prescribing frequency, with a balance measure of e-prescribing errors.
From July 2014 through June 2015, e-prescribing frequency on the PHM service improved from a median of 7.4% to 48.9% (P < .001) and was sustained for an additional 6 months (July 2015–December 2015), surpassing meaningful use targets with associated US News and World Report hospital ranking points. The frequency of PHM prescription errors remained unchanged, and in comparison, the resident outpatient clinic revealed no statistically significant change in e-prescribing frequency during this time period.
Engaging front-line providers in hospital-wide initiatives and quality improvement interventions can directly affect hospital metrics in programs such as meaningful use and US News and World Report, as shown through successful improvement in PHM e-prescribing frequency. Future studies are necessary to determine whether increased e-prescribing frequency affects patient outcomes and compliance.