American Association for Clinical Chemistry
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June 2008 Clinical Laboratory News: CPOE Usage Steadily Rising

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June 2008: Volume 34, Number 6


CPOE Usage Steadily Rising

Despite the computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems industry’s infancy and physicians’ reputation for resisting CPOE, hospital and physician adoption of CPOE continues to increase at a steady pace, according to a recent report. Issued by KLAS (Orem, Utah), a research firm that monitors performance of healthcare IT vendors, the data show impressive increases in the number of both hospitals that have these systems and physicians who are actually using them.

“CPOE Digest 2008” is based on KLAS interviews with every North American healthcare organization with CPOE up and running beyond the ER in at least one inpatient facility. In 2008, 9.6% of U.S. hospitals reported some level of such CPOE use, up from the 6.8% reported in 2007 and a significant leap from the 3.5% reported in the 2003 study. KLAS pointed out that its earlier surveys used less stringent criteria for defining live CPOE.

In large U.S. hospitals with more than 200 beds, CPOE is far more common than in smaller institutions. An estimated 17.5% of large hospitals now have some level of CPOE, compared with only 6% of hospitals having less than 200 beds. “While not every large hospital has CPOE yet, the vast majority of them have a long-term CPOE strategy,” the report’s executive summary adds.

 

That summary notes growth in the number of physicians actually using inpatient CPOE. The 2008 figure, 171,000, exceeds 2007’s 141,000. Meanwhile, individual hospitals report more physicians using CPOE. Of the 472 U.S. hospitals with live systems, 229 said more than 85% of their physicians use the systems.

CPOE systems are also becoming more integrated with pharmacies. Re-entering of orders at the pharmacy occurred just 21% of the time, according to 2008 respondents. That figure represents a sharp decrease from the 48% re-order rate reported in 2003.

Organizations with successful CPOE adoption offered tips to researchers about their success. Those recommendations include preparing for initial physician dissatisfaction with CPOE, mandating its use, and aiming to have more than half of physicians using CPOE within a specific timeframe. The successful organizations also planned for use of CPOE on wireless devices including laptops, tablet PCs, and PDAs, the report adds. The report is available online at KLAS Enterprises.