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Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)

What CPOE can offer you as a Cape Fear Valley Health Physician

Imagine it is 8 a.m. on a busy Tuesday morning and you are rounding on your patient who has multiple complaints. After the assessment, you are uncertain of the most effective approach to the diagnosis and treatment.

What are your options at this time to learn more and get to the correct diagnosis and treatment?

  1. Go to your reference library and then come back to the patient, discuss the options, write a progress note and orders, place the chart in the pile in front of the swamped Unit Secretary and hope your patient’s orders are expedited. When will you get the test results? How will you order the treatment once you get the results? How will you get confirmation that all orders are submitted correctly?
  2. Phone a friend and ask for advice, then follow the path above with orders.
  3. Phone a consultant and ask him/her to see your patient and help with diagnosis and treatment. Do you trust that the consultation will happen in a timely manner and your patient will get the needed tests and treatment?

With CPOE, the process is much simpler!

While at the patient’s bedside, you access references like UpToDate, MDConsult or your favorite internet-based decision support tool. You are able to review the standardized protocols and discuss the plan with patient, place orders for appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Your orders are immediately submitted to Laboratory, Radiology and Pharmacy. A note goes to the nurse caring for your patient informing him/her about the new orders. You are able to bypass the stack of charts in front of the Unit Secretary and have immediate confirmation that your orders are placed correctly. You go on to your next patient, back to your office or wherever your next stop is. Later you can check the status of these orders on any computer linked to this system. When the results are available, they are immediately viewable to you. You can make changes or add new orders immediately remotely.

We all know the common scenarios where paper ordering systems are problematic, including efficiency, accuracy and legibility of the orders.

Arguments for CPOE include improved efficiency gains for physicians that include the ability to place orders immediately and have those orders transmitted to different departments instantaneously.

Here is a list of benefits of CPOE:

  1. Improved efficiency
  2. Access to information at the point of care
  3. Legibility
  4. Accuracy
  5. Timeliness
  6. Consistency (order sets and your “favorites” list)
  7. Decision support: Drug-disease, Drug-monitoring, Dosing information, Drug-drug interaction.

Kalpesh Patel, M.D.
CPOE Physician Champion
Team Lead Hospitalist
Valley Medical Associates