Optimizing vitamin D naming conventions in computerized order entry to support high-value care

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017 Jan;24(1):172-175. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocw038. Epub 2016 Apr 23.


Objective: To reduce wasteful ordering of rare 1,25-OH vitamin D lab tests through use of a noninterruptive decision support tool.

Materials and methods: We conducted a time series quality improvement study at 2 academic hospitals. The titles of vitamin D tests and the order in which they appeared in search results were changed to reflect the purpose and rarity of the tests. We used interruptive time series analyses to evaluate the changes we made.

Results: The estimated number of monthly tests ordered at the 2 hospitals increased, by 24.8 and 14.2, following the introduction of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) (both P < .001). When we changed the titles of the tests, the estimated number of monthly tests decreased at the 2 hospitals, by 22.1 and 11.3 (both P < .001). The search order did not affect test utilization.

Discussion: Changing catalog names in CPOE systems for infrequently used tests can reduce unintentional overuse. Users may prefer this to interruptive or restrictive interventions.

Conclusion: CPOE vendors and users should refine interfaces by incorporating human factors engineering. Health care institutions should monitor test utilization for unintended changes after CPOE implementation.

Keywords: Vitamin D; clinical decision support; test naming conventions; user interface optimization.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Calcitriol / blood*
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Medical Order Entry Systems*
  • Medical Overuse*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis*


  • Vitamin D
  • Calcitriol