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February/March 2011

CPOE Response Positive as Phase 5 Begins

Northwest Community Hospital has reached the final phase, Phase 5, of its rollout of CareLink Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE). To date, approximately 700 NCH physicians and mid-level providers have completed CPOE training. This final phase, which began February 21, will round out the training for a wide range of specialty areas. Those physicians will join the ranks of their colleagues who are now able to enter orders on their own patients.

The key purpose of CPOE, which went live at NCH in late November, is to improve patient safety by promoting direct communication of orders from the provider to the unit/department.

“I continue to be amazed by the positive response of our medical staff members to CPOE, especially in regard to training,” say John McGillen, MD, medical director.

James Ekeberg, MD, chairman of the department of Family Medicine, who was among those trained in the first phase, agrees. “The training itself was very thorough,” he says. “Then, once I began using CPOE, I was able to get input from other users, which was very helpful.”

There are many benefits associated with CPOE, including improved quality of care, decreased length of stay, decreased medication errors, and decreased variation in practice. Most importantly, it provides the missing link that completes the “closed loop” for medication safety, greatly reducing the opportunity for errors and delays associated with handwritten instructions.

For anyone who may still be a bit skeptical about CPOE, Dr. Ekeberg says, “I have not found it cumbersome or difficult at all, and its benefits, as far as reducing paperwork and decreasing the chance of an error, are evident immediately.”

Dr. Ekeberg further emphasizes that this is the way medicine is now practiced at NCH and at the majority of hospitals nationwide. “Improved patient care is a great motivator in learning and implementing this technology,” he notes.

“The general consensus of the doctors is the more they use the system, the easier it becomes,” explains Dr. McGillen. “Many who have learned the system have experienced a huge confidence boost – and some have even said that they are actually enjoying it!”

Dr. McGillen goes on to say that while the transition has gone smoothly for many, the staff is more than ready to help if you need additional support. “I want to emphasize again that no doctor will ever be left behind. If you need extra help, we have infinite patience to teach you how to do this.”

Haven’t signed up for CPOE training yet? It’s not too late. Call Physician Outreach at 847.618.5280. Need additional support in using CPOE? Call extension 5903 if you’re seeing patients in the East Pavilion, or extension 5901 for those in the South Pavilion during Days and PMs. For night shift, call extension 7935.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009