In the process of ordering medications, prescribers must always review patient information such as age, weight, allergies, and relevant laboratory values. They must also review the list of the current medications in the patient’s drug profile. Memory is unreliable, so all of those pieces of information should be made easily accessible wherever and whenever orders are made, whether the prescriber asks for them or not. Computerized ordering systems should provide either prompts and easy access to screens containing the information or information directly on the ordering screen.
- Provide the right amout of information to help the clinicians - neither too little nor too much.
- Integrate information from different sources when using computerized systems so it can be accessed in as few steps as possible.
- Ensure that the most current information appears first, especially for patients who have had long hospital stays.
- Give the people administering the medications access to the information too.