Computer-Based Physician Order Entry is an application that lets health care provides use computers to directly enter medical orders electronically in both inpatient and ambulatory settings, making CPOE replace all traditional methods such as paper, verbal, and telephone/fax. CPOE also allows medical staff to “electronically enter medication orders as well as laboratory, admission, radiology, referral, and procedure orders” (1). This process in regular terms, means that CPOE allows for the transfer of medical orders onto an electronic format.

In recent years this system has become common in inpatient settings as way to improve the reduction of medication errors.

Major Features:
Below are a list of common feature that a precise computerized physician order entry system should have (Hi-Tech Health 2012):

  • Ordering
  • Patient-centered decision support
  • Patient safety features
  • Intuitive Human interface
  • Regulatory compliance and security
  • Portability
  • Management
  • Billing

Issues to CPOE:
With all the cases of implementing a new system, several errors can occur to the CPOE if it is not set up properly or not managed correctly. Below are a list of some case that could happen in early stages of implementation (AHRQ Patient Safety Network):

  • Incorrect configuration producing medication errors
  • Disrupt workflow if steps to ensure system adoption not taken during it development
  • Issues with Interoperability
  • Non-import information generated/unnecessary alerts.
  • Staff inexperience cause slow workflow
  • Incorrect dosing produce by automation of medicine

Applications in Health Informatics:
A major component of Computer-Based Physician Order Entry is the integration of CDSS (clinical decision support systems) that helps improve the functionality of CPOE. With a clinical decision support system include within the system, medical providers are help to off real-time support to diagnose, treatment-related information, and tools that can improve care to patients and help reduce the error and cost of medical (Health Information Technology). Another plus to having including a CDSS is that rules can be included into the system that check for drug interaction, contradictions to medication, and correct dosing amount.

Also according to a recent study, computer-based physician order entry were shown to be more effective in reducing the number of medication errors in acute-care settings. It was discovered that CPOE system decrease the chance of error by forty-eight percent when having a drug order process through them. It is believe that CPOE adoption to hospital will help prevent many medication errors in the far future, yet this is still speculation for now.
Web resources:



Related Terminology:
Place order group
Order Set
  1. AHRQ Patient Safety Network - Computerized Provider Order Entry. (n.d.). AHRQ Patient Safety Network - Computerized Provider Order Entry. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from
  2. Computerized Provider Order Entry. (n.d.). Health Information Technology. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from
  3. Hi-Tech Health | Computerized Physician Order Entry. (n.d.). Hi-Tech Health | Computerized Physician Order Entry. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from
  4. OpenClinical: CPOE. (n.d.). OpenClinical: CPOE. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from
external image CPOE-with-Stethoscope-Low-Res-Web.jpg