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Change in EHR default orders helps reduce inpatient sleep interruptions

January 9, 2019

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A tweak to default orders in the University of Chicago Medical Center’s electronic health records system is letting patients sleep more soundly at night.

Inpatient sleep deprivation is a serious problem at hospitals because of frequent nighttime awakenings by clinicians to measure vital signs or administer medications.

However, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine conducted a prospective study—called Sleep for Inpatients: Empowering Staff to Act (SIESTA)—combining electronic “nudges” in the EHR to forgo nocturnal vitals and medications, as well as physician education on how to use the sleep-friendly tools in the Epic EHR system.

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