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Basic change, big impact: UCH requires indication of use for all prescriptions

The hospital is the first Epic user in the nation to take the step on behalf of patients, providers


​It’s a seemingly small change. Prescriptions written at University of Colorado Hospital now include the indications that the medications treat.
 
No big deal? Surprisingly, the hospital is the first in the country to turn on the “indications of use” feature in the Epic electronic health record (EHR). When a provider selects a medication in the EHR, Epic displays checkboxes with FDA-approved indications. If the provider wants to insert patient-friendly terminology or reasons for off-label use of a medication, he or she can type it into a free text box within the prescription.
 
The feature went live May 14; as of June 18, UCH providers had written some 105,000 prescriptions for more than 58,000 patients. All of them include the indicated use on the patient’s medicine bottle, after-visit summary, and medication list.