Of the many components that make up a clinical information system, perhaps the greatest promise has been ascribed to computerized provider order entry (CPOE). CPOE substantially eliminates or improves the problems of legibility, ambiguous abbreviations, and delays in order communication, and may offer automated dose checking, drug-drug interaction checking, drug-allergy checking, guideline promotion and standardization of care, and other more sophisticated forms of real-time clinical decision support. The evidence for the benefit of CPOE is considered solid in addition to the face value improvement of order quality and communication speed. California even mandated in statute a “technology implementation, such as, but not limited to, computerized provider order entry . . . to eliminate or substantially reduce medication related errors in the facility” for all hospitals in the state. The 2011 phase of the HITECH Act incentive program included CPOE as a core criterion to qualify for incentive payments, requiring that more than 30% of all unique patients seen in clinic or admitted to an eligible hospital’s inpatient or emergency department have at least one medication order entered using CPOE. The 2014 Stage 2 meaningful use objectives require that 60% of all medication orders, 30% of all laboratory orders, and 30% of all radiology orders be entered using CPOE.
The material in these guides and tools was developed from the experiences of Regional Extension Center staff in the performance of technical support and EHR implementation assistance to primary care providers. The information contained in this guide is not intended to serve as legal advice nor should it substitute for legal counsel. The guide is not exhaustive, and readers are encouraged to seek additional detailed technical guidance to supplement the information contained herein.
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