September 15, 2006

WizOrder to add home meds list

Featured Image

Robert Whitehead, M.Sc., Ph.D., left, listens to Sir Nicholas Wright, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., at last week’s symposium.
Photo by Susan Urmy

WizOrder to add home meds list

A new safety feature to help patient care teams avoid medication errors is being added to WizOrder, the inpatient clinical decision support and order entry system developed at Vanderbilt.

The new feature, called the preadmission medication list, helps clinicians in the hospital avoid unwanted drug interactions by letting them easily assemble an electronic list of a patient's home medications. The list stays handy for quick reference and editing by the team throughout the patient's hospital stay, and as the patient prepares to leave the hospital, the list is presented to the clinician automatically as he or she electronically writes discharge orders.

Health care accreditation and Vanderbilt policy require clinicians to review and reconcile medications at every patient encounter — an important safety directive, said Jim Jirjis, M.D., M.B.A., assistant chief medical officer for electronic medical records.

“What is interesting about our solution,” he said, “is that it will save time at admission and discharge for nurses and clinicians alike, while helping to guard against medication errors by reminding the clinician of the patient's home medicine list, both at the time of writing admission orders and at the time of discharging the patient. As always, the key is to bring information to hand at the moment of clinical decision-making.”

“This represents one more step in our ongoing push to eliminate inpatient and outpatient medication errors,” said Chief Medical Officer C. Wright Pinson, M.D., M.B.A. “We want Vanderbilt to lead the nation in patient safety. System upgrades of this sort are playing an essential role in that effort.”

The tool automatically pulls in any current orders, and for return patients it automatically gathers information about medications ordered during previous admissions and medications noted in the “problem list” section of the Vanderbilt electronic medical record.

“All you have to do is click,” said Jenna Bunner, R.N.

Nurses will be the first to be trained to use of the new tool. A few hospital units have conducted pilot tests and the roll-out will reach all adult units by October.