Am J Surg. 2023 Aug 26:S0002-9610(23)00425-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2023.08.023. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Reducing wasteful practices optimizes value in medicine. Docusate lacks treatment efficacy yet is widely prescribed. This quality improvement project aimed to de-implement docusate in place of a new evidence-based order set.
METHODS: This is an ambidirectional study of inpatient laxative orders from 2018 to 2022 at one institution. We stratified docusate data by service/unit to target prospective deimplementation initiatives. A new evidence-based constipation order set was embedded in Cerner.
RESULTS: There were 701,732 docusate orders across 75 services on 68 units. Top docusate ordering services were Trauma, Obstetrics and Hospitalist. Docusate administration rates were higher than for other laxatives. Our efforts reduced docusate orders by 44% over 4 months. PEG and senna orders increased by 58% and 35%.
CONCLUSION: Docusate has no efficacy yet is widely prescribed. A structured de-implementation strategy can drive systematic change by leveraging technology and applying multidisciplinary improvement efforts. Our work removed docusate from the inpatient formulary.