Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) uses computers to document and send treatment orders. These orders are transmitted over internal and external networks to improve efficiency, reduce transcription errors, and improve patient safety. The 2021 statistics for the global CPOE for EHR sector shows that it has experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 6.1% in 2021

Today CPOE covers many vital aspects of diagnosis, treatment, and care, including:

  • Electronic prescriptions
  • Lab test orders
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Immunization
  • Referrals to specialists

Although adopting CPOE for EHR systems is highly beneficial, many challenges such as learning new software, workflow disruption, and data entry overload can discourage physicians from using the system. In this article, we will be discussing various methods of improving clinicians’ adoption of CPOE.

1. Explain Benefits Thoroughly

Today’s CPOE solutions have been refined and offer many benefits to physicians. Some of the most prominent ones include:

  • Significant reduction of errors
  • Higher clinician efficiency and productivity
  • Reduced cost of sending orders
  • Improved patient safety
  • Better quality of care

However, if these benefits are not well explained to physicians, they may not appreciate the need to use CPOE consistently. Many physicians are already used to their manual method of placing orders, so bringing in a disruptive way of doing things may trigger a resistance to change.

It’s essential to promote the benefits to influencers in the organization and tell them to “sell” the benefits of CPOE to other team members to encourage clinicians to use CPOE.

2. Provide Adequate Training

For physicians to become familiar with computerized order entry, they need thorough training. Training for a new CPOE system will be divided into pre-training and ongoing training. Pre-training can be held by the system developers or vendors in two sessions while superusers will conduct the ongoing training in the hospital. Training must emphasize the efficient use of user interface features such as dropdown lists, checkboxes, and radio buttons. Trainers should also show the users how to use both desktop and mobile interfaces and help users with limited typing skills.

3. Reduce Physician Burnout

Since EHRs came into mainstream use, physicians have spent a substantial part of their day entering data into their computers. Unfortunately, this has led to a burdensome data entry workload with less time for attending to patients’ needs.

Adding another data entry task to the existing EHR data entry may put many doctors off. However, it is possible to reduce the burden through innovations in data entry.

Using natural language processing, for instance, can help physicians to dictate treatment notes, while auditory commands can be used to control the user interface elements. However, using natural language processing should not stop those who want to use conventional data entry methods from doing so.

4. Minimize Workflow Disruptions

Implementation of CPOE usually disrupts clinicians’ workflow. For instance, during training, the physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and medical assistants have to leave their duty posts to learn new skills.

After the system is deployed, all users must adapt to a new way of working, which may be difficult for older staff.

It is advisable to implement the new system in phases to minimize workflow disruption. Allow the users to learn to use the interface gradually and let the legacy manual system and new system co-exist for a while before the old system is finally retired.

Also, training should be scheduled for off-peak hours and weekends. At this time, users will be less busy and more likely to have the concentration required to learn new skills.

5. Use the Right EHR Interface

CPOE interfaces come in different forms. While some are included with EHRs by the software vendor, others are added as plug-ins.

If you plan to launch a CPOE system for the first time, it is essential to evaluate your options and select the most efficient interface for your order entry system. Using an interface like CPOE Connect, developed by Lifepoint, will help physicians overcome many of the CPOE adoption challenges, boost operational efficiency, and improve the quality of patient care.

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