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U.S. group offers ‘best practices’ for CPOE

CHICAGO – The National Alliance for Health Information Technology ( has published a new resource designed to help healthcare organizations successfully implement a Computerized Physician Order Entry system. The association notes that the lessons learned can be applied to any information technology project in a healthcare organization.

The Alliance has drawn on the experiences and lessons of senior executives from all healthcare sectors to offer a comprehensive yet practical guide to leading and managing change as health IT systems are implemented.

Called Rules of Engagement: A Proven Path for Instilling, Then Installing a CPOE, the 144-page book gathers those experiences and organizes them into a logical sequence of preparatory and implementation phases. It is available as a download in PDF format for US$395.

Rules of Engagement is a step-by-step guide outlining the three parallel initiatives of a successful CPOE implementation: leading and instilling cultural change, redesigning clinician workflow and implementing the hardware and software.

It includes:

• Project management tools such as readiness assessments, workflow process maps, phases of training and support, evaluation of impact, and metrics by which to measure progress in clinical and financial transformation.

• An RFP Questionnaire and Model Vendor Contract

• Real-world planning and implementation tips from those who have implemented CPOE systems. This Guide details the six important steps in planning and implementing CPOE from decision through implementation.

• The CPOE Decision. Initial steps a healthcare organization should take in deciding whether to implement CPOE.

• Vendor Selection. The different decisions organizations face when selecting a technology vendor to partner with for implementation.

• Cultural Change. Direction to project leaders seeking to effectively guide the organization through cultural change.

• Workflow redesign. Extensive guidance on how workflow processes can bring about improvements in quality of care delivery and patient safety measures.

• Training and Support. A guide to developing a comprehensive training program for users.

• Implementation. A complete roster of technological considerations, from building order sets and setting alert levels to integrating disparate systems and developing a robust network architecture that can handle the requirements.

CPOE holds the potential for real gains in quality of care, safety and efficiency. Cost poses a significant barrier to entry, but perhaps even more daunting is the scope and complexity of implementation. Rules of Engagement: A proven path for instilling, then installing a CPOE approach that works, is the roadmap that will chart the course to adoption.

Fewer than 5 percent of U.S. hospitals have implemented CPOE systems. Many are deterred by the complex, costly and time-consuming challenge of fundamentally changing care-delivery processes, behavior and technology. Yet transformation driven by CPOE and other clinical information technology systems has led to better, more effective care for pioneering medical institutions.