iHealth & Technology
Examining the strategies of a successful computerized physician order-entry system that uses an existing clinical information system can provide an affordable, intermediate step toward establishing a new, state-of-the-art system with advanced clinical decision support, according to a study in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.
Researchers studied a project launched in 2000 to adopt CPOE for hospitalized patients' medications at Loyola University Health System in Chicago. It took 20 months for the system to become fully operational, after which transcription-related errors decreased by 97% from 72.4 to 2.2 per month. Prescribing-related errors increased by 22% from 150 to 184 per month during the pilot period of the project but later decreased by 47% from the initial level to 80 per month. Pharmacists' saved an estimated 23 hours per month after the system was put in place.
According to researchers, the success of the Loyola CPOE project was related to resources and capabilities such as:
- An existing information system that allowed medication ordering;
- Information system support workers who could customize the system to meet a facility's needs;
- Clerical and nursing staff who understood the information system and could help care providers learn how to navigate the order entry system; and
- Resident physicians who were responsible for the majority of medication orders in the system (Barron et al., Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, September 2006).