Computerized Provider Order Entry: The Basics
Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) refers to the process of providers entering and sending treatment instructions – including medication, laboratory, and radiology orders – via a computer application rather than paper, fax, or telephone.
Implementing CPOE can be a challenging process, so it’s important you craft a plan to get your providers engaged and excited about using CPOE.
- Involve providers from the start: By involving providers in all stages of CPOE implementation, you can ensure providers buy in to the implementation process.
- Identify a CPOE champion: Finding a provider champion who can provide CPOE guidance to other providers will help and ensure all providers are on board with your approach.
- Focus on improving patient safety: CPOE can help your organization reduce errors and improve patient safety.1 Make sure your providers understand the potential benefits of CPOE.
- Provide “shoulder-to-shoulder” training: Identify and utilize “super users” – providers or staff members who are engaged and can share helpful hints, tips, and techniques – to provide training to others in your organization.2
- Ensure you have a support mechanism: If and when providers encounter problems, it’s important you provide a support mechanism to keep them excited about and focused on the CPOE implementation process.3
- Create achievable milestones, measure progress, and celebrate success: Be sure to celebrate successes – both major and minor – to keep providers and staff members motivated and engaged throughout the CPOE implementation process.3
Achieving Meaningful Use
CPOE is a core meaningful use objective for Stage 1 and Stage 2 meaningful use. Learn more:
- Stage 1: Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) for Medication Orders
- Stage 2: Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) for Medication, Laboratory and Radiology Orders
For More Information
For more information about CPOE, see the following resources.
- Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use
- Patient Safety Primer: Computerized Physician Order Entry
- What order entry capabilities will I need to implement?
- AccessMedicine: Computerized Provider Order Entry
- Radley DC, Wasserman MR, Olsho LEW, Shoemaker SJ, Spranca MD, Bradshaw B. “Reduction in medication errors in hospitals due to adoption of computerized provider order entry systems.” J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2012.
- Poon EG, Blumenthal D, Jaggi T, Honour MM, Bates DW, Kaushal R. "Overcoming Barriers To Adopting And Implementing Computerized Physician Order Entry Systems In U.S. Hospitals." Health Aff. 2004.
- Key Health Alliance Regional Extension Assistance Center for Health IT. "Workflow Details: Best Practices for Implementing CPOE." 2011.