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What is the ordering system in the hospital information system (HIS)?

Many people have heard of the term ordering system, but may not know the details. In this article, we will explain in detail what an ordering system is, how it differs from electronic medical records, and the benefits of introducing it.

What is the ordering system in the hospital information system (HIS)?

Table of contents

  1. What is the hospital information system (HIS) term “ordering system”?
  2. Differences with electronic medical records
  3. Advantages of introducing an ordering system
  4. Popularity status of ordering systems
  5. summary

What is the hospital information system (HIS) term “ordering system”?

The “ordering system” is one of the hospital information systems (HIS). Hospital information systems also include electronic medical records and medical accounting systems. These systems are introduced for the purpose of streamlining medical treatment and accounting work performed at hospitals, and smoothly sharing information about patients.

When a patient visits a hospital, a doctor examines them and, if necessary, tells a pharmacist to prescribe medication or instructs a laboratory technician to take an X-ray. Additionally, if there is a patient who requires rehabilitation, the task of communicating this to the rehabilitation department will occur.

Traditionally, such communications were carried out by doctors filling out necessary information on paper and transmitting it to each department. In the ordering system, doctors enter instructions for tests, prescriptions, etc. into the system. By accessing the system from terminals in each department, you can receive instructions quickly and accurately, allowing for smooth business operations.

Differences with electronic medical records

An electronic medical record is a system in which information that was previously entered in paper medical records is entered into a computer and managed electronically. Medical records contain information about each patient, including personal information such as the patient’s address and name, as well as the name of the patient’s disease and treatment method. By digitizing such patient information, we have the role of storing and managing it accurately and safely. Electronic medical records, like ordering systems, are included in hospital information systems, but their functions and roles are different.

The introduction of electronic medical records is generally done in stages after the ordering system has been introduced. Additionally, systems called “electronic medical records” often include ordering system functions in advance. Although it is possible to introduce only an ordering system, it is not recommended to introduce only electronic medical records. This is because even if only medical records are digitized, if the doctor’s instructions and test results remain on paper, the digitized medical records cannot be used as the originals, so the effectiveness of the introduction will be diminished.

On the other hand, if only an ordering system is introduced, although the medical records will be on paper, it will be possible to improve work efficiency to some extent because instructions from doctors can be received instantly.

Advantages of introducing an ordering system

The benefits of introducing an ordering system include making it easier for doctors to give orders and sharing patient information, as well as preventing misreading or losing order sheets, and reducing patient waiting times.

In the case of handwritten instructions, in addition to instructions for prescriptions and tests, inpatients must also write dietary instructions. There is a concern that the burden on doctors will be greater in large hospitals with a large number of patients, but digitization can be expected to improve efficiency. Depending on the system, you can easily re-output previously issued instructions by using built-in functions. Additionally, since instructions are sent to each department through the system in almost real time, this will also help smooth coordination.

Furthermore, if the form is written by hand, the handwriting may be sloppy depending on the person filling it out, and there is a risk that the original information may be conveyed incorrectly to nurses, pharmacists, etc. This can pose a risk to the patient’s life, such as the risk of administering the wrong dose of medicine. System input reduces misreading of characters and increases safety.

In addition, with paper instructions, they may be accidentally lost between the time they are delivered from the doctor to each department by the medical office staff, but with the ordering system, instructions can be conveyed through a screen. No such worries will arise. There is also the advantage that patient waiting time is shorter than before, as the time required to create and communicate instructions can be reduced.

Popularity status of ordering systems

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the prevalence of ordering systems was 91.4% in large hospitals with 400 or more beds as of 2017, and it is considered that the ordering system is becoming widespread. Additionally, 76.7% of hospitals with 200 to 399 beds have introduced it. On the other hand, in hospitals with fewer than 200 beds, the rate was 45.6%, which means that the penetration rate remains low compared to medium-sized and large-scale hospitals.

However, considering that it was 19.8% in the 2008 survey, it can be seen that it has become more popular over the past 10 years. Furthermore, in the same 2008 survey, the penetration rate was 54.0% in hospitals with 200 to 399 beds and 82.4% in hospitals with 400 or more beds, so regardless of the size of the hospital, the ordering system will change as time progresses. It can be said that it is widespread. 


By introducing an ordering system, it is expected to not only reduce the workload of doctors, but also improve the efficiency and safety of each medical staff member’s work. In addition, even greater effectiveness can be expected by incorporating electronic medical records at the same time.


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