Health Information Management

Prevent unintended consequences when rolling out computerized physician order entry

HIM-HIPAA Insider, February 17, 2009

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Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) can increase physician efficiency and enhance patient safety, but ineffective implementation can have several unintended negative consequences.

When HIM directors and others charged with selecting a vendor or developing a system internally don’t devote proper time and resources to CPOE rollout, the results could be disastrous.

Consider Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where the mortality rate among interfacility transfer patients to the ICU rose from 2.8% to 6.6% during the first five months after implementation of a commercial CPOE. If this statistic isn’t sufficiently alarming, consider the December 8, 2008, Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert. Its warnings referenced more than 10,000 computer technology–related harmful errors that occurred in 2006 as a result of CPOE.

Editor’s note: For more information about CPOE and to purchase a copy of this article for $10, visit www.hcpro.com. Subscribers to Medical Records Briefing have access to this article in the March issue of the newsletter.



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