Appl Clin Inform 2019; 10(03): 505-512
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1693123
Research Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

A Quality Improvement Initiative to Decrease Platelet Ordering Errors and a Proposed Model for Evaluating Clinical Decision Support Effectiveness

Julia Whitlow Yarahuan
1  Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Amy Billet
2  Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Jonathan D. Hron
1  Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

30 March 2019

27 May 2019

Publication Date:
10 July 2019 (online)


Background and Objectives Clinical decision support (CDS) and computerized provider order entry have been shown to improve health care quality and safety, but may also generate previously unanticipated errors. We identified multiple CDS tools for platelet transfusion orders. In this study, we sought to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of those CDS tools while creating and testing a framework for future evaluation of other CDS tools.

Methods Using a query of an enterprise data warehouse at a tertiary care pediatric hospital, we conducted a retrospective analysis to assess baseline use and performance of existing CDS for platelet transfusion orders. Our outcome measure was the percentage of platelet undertransfusion ordering errors. Errors were defined as platelet transfusion volumes ordered which were less than the amount recommended by the order set used. We then redesigned our CDS and measured the impact of our intervention prospectively using statistical process control methodology.

Results We identified that 62% of all platelet transfusion orders were placed with one of two order sets (Inpatient Service 1 and Inpatient Service 2). The Inpatient Service 1 order set had a significantly higher occurrence of ordering errors (3.10% compared with 1.20%). After our interventions, platelet transfusion order error occurrence on Inpatient Service 1 decreased from 3.10 to 0.33%.

Conclusion We successfully reduced platelet transfusion ordering errors by redesigning our CDS tools. We suggest that the use of collections of clinical data may help identify patterns in erroneous ordering, which could otherwise go undetected. We have created a framework which can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of other similar CDS tools.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

Quality improvement projects that are designed to improve clinical care to better conform to established or accepted standards are considered exempt by our institutional review board.