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Understanding Hospital Readiness for Computerized Physician Order Entry

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Background: Many hospitals in the United States are in early stages of decision making and planning to implement computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to improve patient safety and quality of care. The targeted processes and the software for CPOE are complex, and implementation is a large-scale change effort for most hospitals. Hospitals can increase the likelihood of success by understanding and addressing gaps in CPOE readiness.

Assessing CPOE readiness: A CPOE readiness assessment tool was developed that includes several different components: external environment; organizational leadership, structure, and culture; care standardization;, order management; access to information; information technology composition; and infrastructure. The presence or absence of these indicators in a particular hospital was determined by on-site interviews, walkarounds with direct observations, and document review.

Results: Assessment results for the first 17 hospitals (bed size, 75–906 beds) indicated that the lowest average component score was in care standardization, while the highest average component score was in organizational structure and function. Organizational culture and the order management process also had low average scores.

Conclusions: This CPOE readiness assessment revealed significant gaps in all the hospitals examined. Identifying these gaps and addressing them before CPOE implementation can reduce risks. Organizations need to develop expertise at accomplishing and sustaining change; understanding and building CPOE readiness is an important first step.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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