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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
October 7, 2009


Physician CPOE adoption is being discussed in IT strategy sessions across the US. But before one needs to get it adopted, one has to get it implemented. Truthfully, there are a lot of horror stories out there. One of the main critical success factors for a computerized practitioner order entry (CPOE) implementation is for the order entry team to truly understand the nuances of the electronic ordering process compared with the current paper process.

Here are six steps, you and your project team can take to assure they have got this one in the righteously done category


  • Gain an understanding of what went wrong in the horror stories! - Those horror stories have good insights in what not to do, or what to mitigate early. Check out the literature, and if there are similarities, identify a risk

  • Have a couple analysts go through the day in the life of the practitioners - Commonly IT departments will hire a nurse or three to help relay this process, however having those individuals accountable for designing and configuring the screen flow. Having them understand how extra clicks actually matter becomes crystal clear in following a nurse or a physician around. There is also no better way to instantly imbed a sense of purpose in IT staff. Using the management chain of command, get the request to the CNO or CMO

  • Gain an understanding of what went right! - There are a couple of tales of success stories out there. Check them out and try to see if similar techniques will work for your organization

  • Create a strong partnership between the informatics department and IT - Having these two departments become a performing team is the goal of the project manager. Set an environment up for teaming, a common location, team building activities, small wins for the team, and facilitate team development. These two departments are each a leg of the implementation and need to walk in a powerful stride.

  • Rather than invent the wheel, use a consultant who has been through it - Having a talented consultant who has traveled this road before is worth their weight in gold. Utilize this skill set in order to help identify understanding gaps.

  • Reuse the successful techniques from the documentation coordinators - As AP-DRG's rolled out, efforts were taken to improve physician documentation so that coders could accurate ascertain SOI and ROM. The techniques to improve the physicians documentation will be similar to their adoption of the CPOE. Additionally this will provide insights into the daily life on the floors
  • All are open to share their suggestions!

    Further Readings:

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