Keeping CPOE Safer

November 1, 2012 | Evaluations & Guidance


Computerized provider order-entry (CPOE) systems allow healthcare providers to record, store, retrieve, and modify orders such as prescriptions, diagnostic tests, and treatments. They are designed to streamline workflow, improve turnaround times, and mitigate errors by reducing the risk of, for example, dangerous drug interactions. The use of such systems is expected to increase, thanks to the incentives for adopting electronic health records (EHRs) outlined in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009.

But despite the advantages, there are several problems associated with CPOE systems. For one thing, users are more prone to making wrong-patient order errors when using these systems. And poorly designed systems can cause problems such as delayed ordering time and disruptions in workflow. Understanding these problems can...

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