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Millions of Reasons to Switch to CPOE

  • April 24, 2013
  • RPh on the Go

The medical field has benefited greatly from the use of computers in the workplace. Computer Provider Order Entry (CPOE) is just one of those benefits, but is one of the more important and potentially lifesaving. Given the amount of prescriptions dispensed improperly over the course of a day (Which the Institute of Medicine estimates to be roughly 1 error per day, per patient), reducing medication errors is a great reason to switch to CPOE that can help keep your customers safe.

By implementing a CPOE system, the amount of time spent processing a medication order decreases, and the margin for error is much less. Over 17 million prescription errors can be prevented through the use of CPOE. Brigham and Women’s hospital was able to reduce their overall error rate by 81% by using CPOE instead of traditional prescribing methods. Offering patients access to better healthcare with less costly and potentially dangerous errors is key to a pharmacy’s success.

Adding CPOE to your location’s workflow may seem like a daunting task. How to best merge your CPOE with the needs of your healthcare practice is an important decision to make. Having a testing period of your CPOE before it goes live is crucial to making sure that your team members understand its functions, benefits, and how it will improve both their workflow and client care at the same time. Making the transition from paper exchanges to CPOE orders can be difficult, and identifying the most common scripts that may change is a great way to get your employees learning about CPOE. Making sure that the process is monitored throughout its rollout period is another task to consider. Often, some practices can change at night. 24 hour pharmacies may operate differently than a location that has a set closing time. Making sure the CPOE works for all shifts is crucial.

Identifying your pharmacy’s weak areas and addressing them in your CPOE is a way to bolster overall success, provide better customer care, and allow your team to adjust and improve on these areas in real time. Creating a CPOE process that employees can understand and have had time to get used to—instead of upgrading overnight, is helpful. Making sure that all members of your team understand the benefits of CPOE and can use the program to its full potential are great starting points.

Has your pharmacy switched to CPOE? What have you found most daunting, or has been the biggest improvement to your daily workflow? Share in the comments below.

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