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TMCNet:  University of South Alabama Health System Joins with Stoltenberg Consulting

[December 17, 2012]

University of South Alabama Health System Joins with Stoltenberg Consulting

Dec 17, 2012 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) -- Stoltenberg Consulting, Inc., a healthcare information technology consulting firm, announced the availability of a case study highlighting the successful implementation of electronic order sets at the University of South Alabama (USA) Health System.

"Order sets were the primary mechanism available for getting physicians involved in CPOE and making headway on meaningful use," said Tracy Clay, Project Manager, Soarian Clinicals, and Coordinator, Clinical Systems, Health System Information Services, USA, who spearheaded their order set implementation. "With Stoltenberg, we quickly converted order sets from paper to electronic formats, eliminating a significant amount of trial and error while moving toward an evidence-based standard of care." The case study highlights the process and key findings from the implementation project. Stoltenberg consultants assisted the 406-bed Mobile, Ala.-based hospital with the implementation of 49 computerized physician order entry (CPOE) order sets over a period of seven months.

Clay continued, "We knew [Stoltenberg] had the meaningful use and order set implementation resources to get USA over some difficult obstacles in order set design, conversion and implementation. They provided dedicated resources with top experience in our areas of greatest need, including meaningful use." Based on best practices from this project, USA IT team members and Stoltenberg consultants offer this advice to hospitals working to expand and refine their use of order set solutions' design, testing and training: -Prepare for disruptions, including vendor staff turnover.

-Map the workflow process of order entry in all areas in advance via flow chart.

-Develop a plan for the development, testing and implementation of orders and order sets.

-Use an interdisciplinary committee to ensure there is a match between a paper-based order set and prevailing practice.

-Begin with order sets that are already on paper and in use.

-Review orders in order sets for clarity and the ability to translate into electronic orders before building the order set.

-Use physicians to conduct a review of paper order sets, followed by verification from nurses and ancillaries.

-Confer with consultants to provide insight and best practices regarding order set review, building and testing.

-Use clinicians such as nurses to serve as advisors to the IT department.

-Engage in classroom hands-on teaching to supplement online training.

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