Computerized physician order entry

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
Record ID 32003000543
Authors' objectives:

This review aims to assess the available evidence on the effectiveness of computerized physician order entry (CPOE).

Authors' recomendations: With regard to computerized physician order entry systems, the ICSI Technology Assessment Committee finds the following: Despite having very real, potential benefits, CPOE systems are high in cost, are complex to design and implement with the variety of information technology systems present in different organizations, and have experienced only limited acceptance to date. As a result, CPOE has an uncertain cost-benefit ratio. There is limited information on the effectiveness of CPOE systems as the evidence, to date, is primarily from studies of medication order systems in inpatient, hospital settings with electronic medical record systems in place. Users of an order entry system must be aware of the limitations of the system. The Institute of Medicine report (1999) on error in medicine calls for a 50% reduction in errors over the next 5 years. Published results following introduction of CPOE systems for inpatient medication orders, when done in conjunction with electronic medical records, indicate that this goal is achievable. CPOE systems are most useful in identifying patient allergies to new medications and potential interactions of new medications with current medications. (Conclusion Grade III) In one study, the addition of a computer generated reminder for redundant laboratory tests to an existing inpatient CPOE system reduced the use of redundant tests by 47%. It is likely that much of the experience with physician order entry is not published. Therefore, the true impact of CPOE systems remains unknown. Studies with negative outcomes are less likely to be published.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Computer Systems
  • Hospital Information Systems
  • Medical Errors
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Physicians
Organisation Name: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
Contact Address: 8009 34th Avenue South, Suite 1200, Bloomington, MN, USA. Tel: +1 952 814 7060; Fax: +1 952 858 9675
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.