With pre-course participants finishing up lunch today, four hospitalists from three hospitals are talking shop. Two of the hospitals are in the process of implementing computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and the third hospital is on track to do the same but got delayed. Each of the hospitalists expresses cautious optimism about the outcomes.
“It’s a necessary evil,” says Gaurav T. Parikh, MD, a Cogent HMG hospitalist practicing at City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.V. “Once we start using it—if it really makes things easier—then it should give us more flexibility. You can use it anywhere in the hospital.
“Sometimes I leave a patient’s room and go to another patient, and then remember, gee, I forget to order something for that first patient.”
With CPOE, Dr. Parikh can enter the additional prescription at a computer terminal or try to reach a nurse on that floor by phone, who then places the order.
Jaydeep Patel, MD, MBA, hospitalist at Grant Medical Center in Columbus,Ohio, says he used CPOE in residency and eagerly is awaiting its implementation at Grant. “I really liked it. There’s just less chance for error, as opposed to 15 charts on the rack,” he says.
Dr. Parikh says his hospital tried for two years to get physicians to enter the date and time on prescriptions. “It didn’t happen,” he says, noting CPOE puts an electronic signature on every prescription. He also says the hospital will have an easier time pulling data on practice. “In a time of increased demands for data and quality, it will help you big time,” he adds. “But it won’t necessarily save us time.”
Larry Beresford is a freelance writer covering HM12.