Today, the healthcare industry is more than ever facing the need for effective and efficient health information technology (HIT). The support of clinical decisions by automated systems ensures safer and more reliable patient care. However, a sizeable HIT investment like computerized physician order entry (CPOE) requires the appropriate support structures, resources, and proper knowledge on how to implement CPOE.
In the same way that physicians use prescription pads to write orders for patients, computerized physician order entry (CPOE) enables healthcare providers to electronically record and transmit their clinical orders. While medication errors still occur, CPOE greatly reduces the frequency with which they occur. Moreover, the benefits of implementing CPOE are socialized in the form of significant cost savings and improved patient outcomes.
Below are tips on how to implement CPOE to guide your healthcare organization to a successful launch of a CPOE system:
1. Create a CPOE committee but limit the number of members.
When the entire organization participates in the creation of order sets, they can become quite complex, requiring a huge amount of time to develop. Some organizations try to avoid this problem by having a small team lead the creation of order sets with input from various specialists.
2. When forming a CPOE committee, it is important to include the appropriate members.
It is important to ensure that each department has selected a representative to work with the company’s model. A CPEO team should include senior leaders, physicians, nurses, information technology staff, and representatives from other departments, such as laboratory and radiology. In order to achieve this, many departments choose to have their employees elect delegates who will attend meetings on their behalf.
3. Minimize the need to meet by streamlining communication and decision-making processes on how to implement CPOE.
The successful launch of CPOE requires a great deal of preparation, including many meetings. To reduce the need for meetings, your healthcare organization can do asynchronous communication. Online document sharing allows team members to log in and read proposed sets, make comments and interact with the entire team at their most convenient time. As healthcare organizations have different work shifts, working on CPOE tasks at the team member’s own convenience may reduce the number of unnecessary meetings and make the process more productive.
4. Demonstrate how CPOE can help the whole organization become more efficient and effective.
Studying best practices and providing examples of evidence-based best practices can help convince clinicians to adopt CPOE. Implementing CPOE can greatly improve clinic workflow and provide efficiencies to otherwise time and labor-intensive processes. The ability to communicate with medical professionals through a computer system, rather than having to call them individually, can make patient care more efficient and less costly.
5. Consider taking small steps first on how to implement a CPOE system to avoid overwhelming healthcare professionals.
Physicians won’t have to print and sign forms when they use CPOE, because they’ll just click a button to submit them electronically. To prepare physicians for the switch to computerized provider order entry, hospitals can make sure they get used to working with electronic documents. One way to encourage the adoption of CPOE is by providing physicians with a “starter kit” containing order sets, reminders, and workflow tools. Some organizations have PDFs of order sets available on their intranets.
Conclusion on how to implement CPOE
Some of the greatest opportunities in healthcare are also the most challenging to address. The need for safe, effective, and efficient health information technology (HIT) is a chief concern of the industry today. A well-executed computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system can support that need. Having the right foundation in place to install and support CPOE is crucial, so consult experienced CPOE experts if you are considering implementing one today.