Computerized physician/provider order entry is defined as the computer system that allows direct entry of medical orders by the person with the licensure and privileges to do so. Directly entering orders into a computer has the benefit of reducing errors by minimizing the ambiguity of hand-written orders, but a much greater benefit is seen with the combination of CPOE and clinical decision support tools.Implementation of CPOE is being increasingly encouraged as an important solution to the challenge of reducing medical errors, and improving health care quality and efficiency. But use of CPOE is not yet widespread, in part because it has a reputation for being difficult to implement successfully.

CPOE is the portion of a clinical information system that enables a patient’s care provider to enter an order for a medication, clinical laboratory or radiology test, or procedure directly into the computer. The system then transmits the order to the appropriate department, or individuals, so it can be carried out. The most advanced implementations of such systems also provide real-time clinical decision support such as dosage and alternative medication suggestions, duplicate therapy warnings, and drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checking.

CPOE functionality and benefits:


  • Enables doctors to enter prescription, lab. test and other orders for patient care straight into a hospital information system
  • Replaces hand-written orders (legibility, completeness, readily and quickly accessible, improved communcations between phyician and pharmacist; no delay or loss …)
  • Supports ready access to patient data and patient assessment
  • Can help improve patient safety and prevent medical errors and adverse drug events by checking the dosage etc. of medication given to patients by physicians or other health professionals
  • Supports improved recording, data trails, quality assurance and error awareness and reporting
  • Potential to improve efficiency and resource usage by integrating different departments – laboratory, imaging, nursing and medication records
  • Cost-effectiveness benefits:
    • Can reduce additional and often avoidable costs (clinical, litigation …) that can result from medication errors
    • Can show test and medication costs – potential to reduce prescription costs
    • Can reduce the number of duplicate test

You can find more information about CPOE at CPOE!


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