Understanding hospital readiness for computerized physician order entry.
BACKGROUND: Many hospitals in the United States are in early stages of decision making and planning to implement computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to improve patient safety and quality of care. The targeted processes and the software for CPOE are complex, and implementation is a large-scale change effort for most hospitals. Hospitals can increase the likelihood of success by understanding and addressing gaps in CPOE readiness. ASSESSING CPOE READINESS: A CPOE readiness assessment tool was developed that includes several different components: external environment; organizational leadership, structure, and culture; care standardization;, order management; access to information; information technology composition; and infrastructure. The presence or absence of these indicators in a particular hospital was determined by on-site interviews, walkarounds with direct observations, and document review.
RESULTS: Assessment results for the first 17 hospitals (bed size, 75-906 beds) indicated that the lowest average component score was in care standardization, while the highest average component score was in organizational structure and function. Organizational culture and the order management process also had low average scores.
CONCLUSIONS: This CPOE readiness assessment revealed significant gaps in all the hospitals examined. Identifying these gaps and addressing them before CPOE implementation can reduce risks. Organizations need to develop expertise at accomplishing and sustaining change; understanding and building CPOE readiness is an important first step.