What is a computerized provider order entry (CPOE) system?
A computerized provider order entry system (CPOE) is a computer system that allows physicians, physicians' assistants and nurse practitioners to enter medication or test orders directly into a computer instead of writing them by hand on paper.
CPOE has several benefits. Electronic orders are easy to read, avoiding the need to decipher hard-to-read handwriting. Computerized orders move faster than written paper orders -- the pharmacy instantly receives a doctor's medication order the moment he or she enters it in the computer. The computer software that runs CPOE also can deliver recommendations based on medical research, reminders to order medications and automatic alerts about potentially harmful drug interactions or patients' allergies to certain medications.
How are we doing?
CPOE was introduced in all University of Missouri Health Care hospitals in 2010. Each month since University of Missouri Health Care implemented CPOE, our percentage of orders has been greater than 80 percent. That exceeds two important targets. The federal government has set a target of 30 percent of orders being placed with CPOE to meet its "meaningful use" rule, and the National Quality Forum has set a goal of 75 percent of medications being ordered through CPOE to meet its Safe Practice guidelines.
For the above graph: Higher ↑ performance is better.
What are we doing to improve?
Now that CPOE has been adopted in all our inpatient areas, we are focusing on improving the system and expanding CPOE use to all our outpatient clinics. We began expanding CPOE to clinics in 2011 and plan to implement it in all of our clinics by late 2012.
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