Computerized physician order entry process, proven to reduce errors, up and running
Bolingbrook – Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital implemented a new, computerized system designed to drastically reduce medical errors and speed up patient care by eliminating handwritten orders for all inpatients. With the launch of this computerized provider order entry system, or CPOE, on April 12, Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital is at the forefront of embracing new medical technology designed to improve patient safety; it now ranks in the top 16 percent of the nation’s hospitals for having a fully-integrated electronic medical records system.
“The positive impact of this new process on patient safety cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Gary Lipinski, chief medical officer of Adventist Midwest Health. “When physicians enter orders directly into the system, we remove the middle man between the physician and the patient’s treatment. There’s no chance of someone misinterpreting a physician’s handwriting. In addition, specialized warnings alert the physician to any potential negative interactions. These safeguards mean there’s less of a chance for errors.”
Studies show 770,000 Americans are harmed or die each year from adverse drug events, and half of medication errors occur during the ordering process, many from illegible and incomplete orders. CPOE systems are widely regarded as the technical solution to medication ordering errors. This process enables physicians and other health care providers to enter orders directly into the hospital’s electronic medical records (EMR) system, eliminating the paper trail, reducing errors and decreasing the amount of time elapsed from physician order to patient care. Published studies report that CPOE reduces medication errors in the hospital by more than 80 percent and saves hundreds of billions in annual costs. The program automatically checks for medication interactions, incorrect dosages and duplicated orders.
Regular use of a CPOE is something the U.S. government specifically identified as necessary to accomplish so-called “meaningful use” of electronic medical record systems in the 2009 federal stimulus law. To qualify and receive subsidy payments for information technology systems, hospitals and physicians are required to prove their usefulness.
“By implementing this new process, Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital is ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing new technology to make our hospital the best it can be,” said Rick Mace, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer. “Our employees and the more than 500 members of the medical staff have worked for months to bring this project to fruition. But the real winners are the patients because CPOE will help us deliver safer, superior care.”
Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital was the first hospital in the Adventist Midwest Health region to implement CPOE; Adventist GlenOaks Hospital’s took effect May 3 and Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial hospitals go live on June 7. All four hospitals are part of Adventist Health System, which has been rolling out the system at its more than 40 U.S. hospitals with excellent results.
“In the months following the rollout at our pilot sites in 2009, adverse drug effects were greatly reduced and there was a significant reduction in the number of times physicians had to be called to clarify medication orders, minimizing delays and freeing up pharmacists to invest time in rounding with physicians on the nursing units,” said Dr. Philip Smith, vice president and chief medical information officer for Adventist Health System.
By eliminating traditional paperwork, the new process also enables nurses and ancillary staff members to fully focus on patient needs.
“CPOE increases the amount of time that nurses spend at the bedside providing personalized care, which is vital,” said Jolene Albaugh, chief nursing officer.
Added Mace: “Through their commitment to make a fairly radical change in how they deliver patient orders, our physicians and providers have shown their commitment to doing what’s best for patients and what’s best for Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. The bottom line is this: CPOE is better medicine. It offers tremendous gains in patient safety and quality.”
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org; 630-856-2354