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Implementing EHRs
Continuing Quality Improvement

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.

Engaging Providers

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:

For More Information

For more information about CPOE, see the following resources.

References

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Key Health Alliance Regional Extension Assistance Center for Health IT. “Workflow Details: Best Practices for Implementing CPOE.” 2011.