All User Bulletin - Ambulatory Lab Standing Order Maintenance

All-user-bulletins highlight stumbling blocks that all prescribers need to be aware of when using the Connect Care clinical information system.

Ambulatory Lab Standing Order Maintenance

"Standing orders" relate to pre-authorization of routine tests, procedures or treatments without the need for individualized orders each time. They typically cover future tasks (e.g., labs) performed at intervals.

A recently identified technical issue resulted in the premature release of some instances of patients' standing orders. The problem is fixed. However, the work revealed opportunities for improving standing order prescribing practices:   

  • Be specific when entering one-time (Future Mode) orders
    → Specify a desired date for the expected collection. This prevents delayed or premature collections, while streamlining processing.

  • Automate regularly spaced repeating orders
    → Select the "Auto" status whenever possible.
    → Choose the "Manual" status only for irregular collection intervals or PRN (as needed) orders.

  • Avoid expired standing orders
    If a standing order expires before a lab collection due date (the patient may present to the lab with an old paper requisition), the associated information may be outdated and results may not route correctly.
    → Lab staff will manually enter orders into Connect Care and collect them once.
    → Patients will be advised to return to their provider for new orders before their next scheduled lab appointment to maintain result routing accuracy.

  • Maintain standing orders
    Lab staff are diligently working to collect all open ambulatory orders.
    → Prescribers are urged to review active standing orders during every patient encounter and delete any no longer required.

  • Print and provide lab requisitions
    Alberta lab collection sites are transitioning to paperless workflows.
    → For now, it is still recommended that patients bring printed lab order requisition(s) to collection sites.

For more information: