Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) (also sometimes referred to as Computerized Provider Order Entry) (also sometimes referred to as Computerized Provider Order Management ) is a process of electronic entry of medical practitioner instructions for the treatment of patients (particularly hospitalized patients) under his or her care. These orders are communicated over a computer network to the medical staff or to the departments (pharmacy, laboratory, or radiology) responsible for fulfilling the order. CPOE decreases delay in order completion, reduces errors related to handwriting or transcription, allows order entry at the point of care or off-site, provides error-checking for duplicate or incorrect doses or tests, and simplifies inventory and posting of charges. CPOE is a form of patient management software.
Prescribing errors are the largest identified source of preventable errors in hospitals (IOM, 2000; 2007). The IOM (2006) estimates that each hospitalized patient, on average, is exposed to one medication error each day. Computerized provider order entry (CPOE), formerly called computer physician order entry, can reduce medication errors by 80% overall but more importantly decrease harm to patients by 55%. A Leapfrog (2004) survey found that 16% of US clinics, hospitals, and medical practices are expected to utilize CPOE within 2 years.