Computerized provider order entry refers to a process in medical practice where the service provider, or physician, enters or sends medication orders and instructions for treatment through a computerized application system instead of the traditional use of paper charts (Kuperman et al., 2007, p. 29). The use of computerized order entry system for physicians has been seen to reduce errors related to ambiguity as was the case with written chart systems. The entry system has since been adopted by healthcare facilities to assist in sending treatment instructions such as laboratory and radiology orders (Kuperman, 2007, p. 29). With the system, several benefits can be achieved: reduced errors while giving medication orders, improving patient safety by ensuring correct dispensation of medication, improved efficiency by from quick order submission and improved reimbursements for orders that require pre-approval from insurance plans. The system works by the physician placing an order via a workstation, laptop or mobile device (Kuperman et al., 2007, p. 29). The workstation—which is already linked with the EHR—updates patient information and completes their medical history. The system evaluates the viability of the medication ordered through assessing patient history and ensuring there are no unexpected reactions from patient before proceeding to dispense the medication.
Example of Computerized Provider Order Entry
CliniComp Intl provides Electronic Health Record services globally; providing software, hardware and support solutions with an unrivaled track record on reliability and performance. One of the services that CliniComp offers includes CPOE services (Kuperman et al., 2007, p. 31). Its next-generation web-based EHR services cover Inpatients, Ancillary and Ambulatory systems. The Inpatient solution provides sufficient reliability for critical, acute, perinatal and emergency care through supported devices such as PCs, tablets or even smartphones.
With the system, the order service process is quite simplified: it allows for ordering, transcription dispensation and administration of medication. At ordering level, the system requires the involved physician to select an appropriate medication, the dose, and frequency at which it needs to be administered (Kuperman et al., 2007, p. 31). At this point, unlike the previous written chart system, the medication is monitored by the system; a physician cannot enter an ambiguous order type. Through system monitoring, the order will only go through if it is clear. The prescription must then be transcribed for the recipient to understand. For instance, in dispensation of medication, the recipient through the system normally is the pharmacy attendant (Kuperman et al., 2007, p. 31). Once the system picks the order from the physician, it goes through a process of transcription before reaching the recipient. The benefit of using CPOE is that the order reaching the recipient is always as clear as can be.
At the dispensation point, the system checks for drug allergies from patient history in the Electronic Health record database. Suppose the patient has allergies associated with the dispensed drug, the system will cease the dispensation and compute alternative options, dosages, and frequency of administration to dispense (Kuperman et al., 2007, p. 35). After computing the right medication, it then releases the right quantity of medication dispensed in the correct form.
Finally, in administration of the medication, the system must ensure that the correct person receives the medication. The system, therefore, ensures that it dispenses the drugs to the right patient index provided at the point of logging in the patient by the physician.
CPOE provides numerous benefits as compared to the traditional paper chart system. The most important reason for adopting the system was to avert problems encountered by patients before such dispensation of the wrong medications or dispensation of drugs that caused an allergic reaction to patients etc. (Niazkhani et al., 2009, p. 540). Traditional hand-written systems that were used before were known to result in wrong dispensation of medication mainly due to ambiguity in the order given, either because the handwriting was not readable or the prescription was directed to the wrong patient.
With CPOE, apart from fast dispensation of services, the accuracy in service delivery makes it even more beneficial to both patients and physicians alike (Niazkhani et al., 2009, p. 541). The efficiency of CPOE starts at the point of logging in of patients; at this point, the system ensures that the patient is identified uniquely to prevent cases of wrongful dispensation of drugs from confusion of patients.
The system’s ability to counter check a patient’s history with either the particular facility or other previously visited facilities boosts its accuracy rate at service delivery. This history check allows the system to avoid costly mistakes such as dispensation of medication that can cause adverse effects to the patient (Niazkhani et al., 2009, p. 541). Also, after diagnosis, the system’s ability to counter check the appropriate procedures to perform eases the entire facility’s functionality as it keeps the services flowing (Niazkhani et al., 2009, p. 541). Apart from preventing wrong medication for a patient, for instance, sending a patient for radiology instead of the laboratory, the system also assists physicians to make the right deductions from patient diagnosis.
Since the most important point of adopting CPOE is in ensuring that the right patients get the most appropriate medication dispensed, an achievement of this goal comes in the clarity by which the system places orders for various service delivery (Niazkhani et al., 2009, p. 545). From appropriate identification of a patient to identification of the most appropriate medication results in efficiency in service delivery, making the system one of the most important developments in the medical sector today
In conclusion, the adoption of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) has revolutionized the process of service delivery in health sector today. This system, which involves physicians placing an order for patient service through a computerized system has reduced mishaps that came from ambiguity initially experienced in written chart systems. An understanding of the operation of the system is vital to evaluate its effectiveness in the sector today.
- Kuperman, G. J., Bobb, A., Payne, T. H., Avery, A. J., Gandhi, T. K., Burns, G., & Bates, D. W. (2007). Medication-related clinical decision support in computerized provider order entry systems: a review. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 14(1), 29-40.
- Niazkhani, Z., Pirnejad, H., Berg, M., & Aarts, J. (2009). The impact of computerized provider order entry systems on inpatient clinical workflow: a literature review. Journal of the American medical informatics Association, 16(4), 539-549.