This article is from our quarterly newsletter – Well Aware. If you’d like an electronic copy of the full newsletter, just ask! Leave a comment on this post or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Project champion Dr. Andrew Donelson says Computerized Physician Order Entry is improving patient safety by streamlining the ordering and documentation processes. As importantly, the system is also providing FMH physicians with an additional tool that has tremendous potential to inform physicians’ decisions and improve care.
Many factors have affected today’s healthcare landscape, but among the most far-reaching has been the widespread adoption of Computerized Physician Order Entry. CPOE helps assure that physicians’ orders are immediately directed to where they need to go– implementing care plans faster than ever before.
To understand the effect CPOE has had on the practice of medicine, it’s important to look briefly at past history. Not so very long ago, physicians wrote out all their directions for a patient’s care in longhand. These notes were then transcribed by unit clerks, nurses, pharmacists and others before they could be carried out. Illegible orders and incomplete directions sometimes needed to be clarified, often resulting in delays.
Today, the vast majority of physicians at FMH are using a powerful CPOE system that uploads their care instructions directly into patients’ Electronic Health Records. Treatment details are then immediately transmitted electronically to laboratories and imaging centers, minimizing misinterpretations and reducing errors. And because prescriptions are sent directly to the hospital pharmacy, the errors resulting from illegible handwriting are greatly diminished.
Another advantage to CPOE is the availability of an integrated tool called the Physician Care Manager. Dr. Donelson, this embedded module provides the treating physician with a summary of ordering patterns for a certain disease or condition that are resulting in the best patient outcomes, based on the most recent medical evidence.
“Access to this information is immediate, at the point of care,” says Dr. Donelson, “giving the treating physician access to a brain trust of evidenced-based treatment options that may be of maximum benefit to the patient.”