Exploring CPOE – What It Means To Healthcare

Frank Quinn
January 11, 2013 — 1,080 views  
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The ever changing dynamics of healthcare across the US can be attributed to continuous innovations in health IT technology. Applications such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Practice Management software have completely revolutionized the norms of medical practice – providing quality care and promoting the culture of evidence based practice. Today, health IT has become a popular player within the healthcare industry not only in the US, but also across the globe.

Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is one such contribution of health IT that has helped induce the culture of evidence based practice. CPOE allows physicians to electronically transmit treatment details for patients to laboratories and pharmacies. Since the respective parties are notified through electronic messaging, any unwarranted delays are easily avoided. Moreover, the errors once made in prescriptions as a result of poor handwriting are now completely eliminated. Before the introduction of EMR, identifying errors within prescriptions such as inappropriate dosage or wrong medication was commonplace. However, CPOE has induced the culture of accountability, as it has eliminated the loop holes within the system.

"Gone are the days when you would worry about prescription notes being lost or misplaced. EMR has made it easy for all of us; one can send a prescription directly to the pharmacy and all that the patients have to do is walk in to collect their medicine. Had it not been for health IT, these problems would not have been addressed so easily", says a San Francisco based health IT consultant.

It is believed that increasing EMR implementation across the world is one of the biggest reasons why CPOE is gaining popularity at such an incredulous pace. Although it is true that CPOE is primarily meant to reduce medication errors, physicians across the world have also found it to be a cost cutting strategy. Not only is the use of paper costly, but the added frustration of misplacing valuable data is also a major concern which physicians can address with the help of CPOE.

Health IT consultants and healthcare professionals believe that with cloud EMRs available in the market, the trend of EMR adoption is going to increase even more which would further increase the use of CPOE. However, the concept of integration has raised a few questions. While majority believes that integration of CPOE with cloud EMRs would bolster the adoption, some claim that the increase would be much more if vendors offered a separate CPOE system.


Frank Quinn