Leading CPOE: Whose Job Is It?

Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Magazine , April 8, 2010
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Getting the vision and goals from the board and CEO helped align the organization, but CPOE has to be physician-driven to succeed, says Lee. "They can better communicate with other physicians, relate to them, and provide credibility because they are also impacted by a change in workflow and constraints in time." The No. 1 concern for most physicians is that it will decrease efficiency.

Organizations should do what they can to ensure there are enough computers on the floor, they are working properly, and any network issues are solved before the go live. But organizations also have to set expectations. "Physicians need to realize that, yes, in the first week or two, you may be slower," says Lee. "You have to account for that—schedule less patients or don't overbook your schedule, because it will slow you down in the beginning."

Carrie Vaughan is a senior editor for HealthLeaders Media. She may be contacted at cvaughan@healthleadersmedia.com.
Tips to Successfully Implement CPOE

  • Engage physicians from the start and be prepared for pushback—even from your "friends," says Harry Lukens of Lehigh Valley Health Network. "Come up with some way to compensate them for their involvement."
  • Plan, plan, plan. Don't assume your vendor will be there to help you, because it has many of the same issues—few resources and unreasonable clients.
  • Never lie about the difficulty or stress of the project.
  • Don't avoid difficult physicians. "The more they complain the more you should spend time with them," says Cindi Lockhart of Citizens Memorial Healthcare. "Don't let them blanketly complain. Get specifics on why is it hard for them and work on those specifics."
  • Get advice from other organizations that have implemented CPOE—preferably one using the same system. "We didn't have that, but we try to offer that help to other people now—take advantage," says Lockhart.
  • Be proactive and find out what physicians' frustrations and concerns are, says Davis Lee, MD, of Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. "Go to the practice lounge and out on the floor. That is where you'll find the information that is the most useful."
  • "Don't throw the whole kitchen sink at physicians," says Lee. CPOE needs to have its own emphasis and a block of time to focus only on it.
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