A simple tweak to CPOE

A simple tweak to CPOE

Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) sounds great, and in general it is. But early implementations have sometimes made things worse rather than better as I’ve noted before.

Now a study in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has demonstrated that bringing a parrot/trained monkey (or in this case a resident) along can reduce or even eliminate errors:

“By simply having the resident read back the order before he or she entered it into the computer, we reduced verbal order errors from 9.1 percent to zero. Although this was a small study, these results are very encouraging,” main author and pediatrician Dr. Michael Vossmeyer said in a prepared statement.

In the first part of this study, the team on rounds took 70 consecutive orders. After rounds, they examined the orders and found a 9.1 percent error rate, mostly in drug dosages that would not have affected patient safety. However, in two instances, the resident wrote down the wrong drug.

The researchers then implemented a process where the resident reads back the order to the attending physician or chief resident for verification before it’s entered into the computer system. This approach was tested in 75 orders, and there were no errors.

From HealthDay News.

May 2, 2006

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