Christiana Care Health System is taking a giant leap forward toward a comprehensive Electronic Health Record with the launch of Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), technology that makes it easier, more efficient and safer for doctors to order tests and medications.
The system goes live on Jan. 28 at Christiana Care’s Wilmington Hospital and in coming weeks at its other hospital, Christiana Hospital. It will be the most extensive use of CPOE in Delaware and one of only a handful in the region.
“CPOE transforms the way we provide care to our patients because it emphasizes patient safety by dramatically reducing the risk of medication and order entry errors,” says Terri Steinberg, M.D., MBA, Christiana Care’s chief medical information officer. “It also helps doctors to be more efficient in patient care.”
With bar-coded wristbands and an electronic medication administration record (eMAR) system already in place, Christiana Care joins a small and elite group. According to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) standards, the addition of CPOE puts Christiana Care in the top 3.6 percent of hospitals in the United States.
More important, that means Christiana Care is nearing its ultimate goal of establishing a comprehensive Electronic Health Record system. The government’s mandate is for hospitals to increase use of EHR from 10 percent in 2009 to 55 percent by 2014.
CPOE provides real-time patient identification and data on allergies and drug reactions. Doctors and nurses can review orders for confirmation immediately, streamlining delivery to the patient. On average, patients go home from the hospital sooner, reducing costs, according to a Harvard Medical School study.
The technology reduces repeat tests and turnaround times for results, as well as glitches associated with paper such as incomplete charts. Because health care providers enter orders electronically, the system eliminates errors in deciphering doctors’ handwriting.
CPOE also provides such conveniences as “smart med” pick lists, with usual doses and methods of delivery. It is equipped with hundreds of order sets for the most common diagnoses.
Doctors ultimately will benefit from CPOE because they can write orders from their homes or offices. They also will receive fewer return calls from the lab and pharmacy to clarify orders.