Hospital execs: CPOE implementation requires communication, structure

While the market for computerized physician order entry systems is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2018, according to at least one assessment, meeting the requirement for such technology has proven to be a big hurdle for hospitals striving to achieve Meaningful Use. In a panel discussion with Hospitals & Health Networks, several hospital IT executives talked about their CPOE challenges and offered advice for adoption.

Edward Koschka, former CIO of Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, said that the biggest barrier was following up on and enforcing adopted policies. "The medical staff executive committee needs to make CPOE a priority," Koschka told HHN. "The efforts at The Indiana Heart Hospital have been diffused, as not all specialists coming into the hospital use CPOE routinely in other hospitals, so there is not a consistent workflow across the five network hospitals."

For Dave Baumgardner, CIO of Union Hospital in Dover, Ohio, coordination of efforts proved especially challenging, especially given both vendor limitations and the hospital's size (154 beds). "Basically, it's getting the team to agree on a date that can be met, and match[ing] that with the vendor's available open slots," he told HHN. "In addition, being a small hospital with limited labor resources and numerous important projects in motion has presented a problem."

Both Koschka and Lee Carmen, CIO at University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City, talked about the importance of communication during the implementation process. Koschka said getting nurses involved early was crucial. Carmen, meanwhile, touted the importance of creating a structure to support communication between technical and clinical staff members. "I advise colleagues to clear everything else off their calendars to support the project," he added.

For more information:
- read the full discussion

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