Number of Hospitals Using CPOE Systems Grows, Survey Finds

July 22, 2014 in News

U.S. hospitals are increasingly adopting computerized physician order entry systems, according to a survey released Friday by the Leapfrog Group, FierceHealthcare reports (Sullivan, FierceHealthcare, 7/18).

Survey Details

The 2013 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which was prepared by Castlight Health, queried 1,437 hospitals on several key areas of hospital quality and safety, including the use of CPOE for patient prescriptions.

In order for hospitals to meet Leapfrog’s standard of CPOE for the survey:

  • At least 75% of inpatient medication orders must be placed using a CPOE system; and
  • They must have tested the system to ensure physician alerts are functioning (Leapfrog Group survey, 7/18).

Survey Findings

The survey found that 43% of hospitals in 2013 met Leapfrog’s standards for use of CPOE (Goedert, Health Data Management, 7/22). Specifically, the survey showed 113 hospitals met Leapfrog’s standards in 2009, compared with 616 in 2013.

However, the survey found that 36% of all orders in 2013 failed to prompt appropriate warnings to physicians, while 12.5% of potentially fatal orders did not generate a proper warning.

Meanwhile, the survey found the number of hospitals that tested their CPOE systems nearly doubled between 2012 and 2013, increasing from 455 to 931 during that timeframe.

Although the survey showed progress in hospitals’ use of CPOE systems, the authors wrote that it highlights a “critical need for hospitals to make additional improvements to their medication ordering processes” (Leapfrog Group survey, 7/18).

In a statement, Leapfrog President and CEO Leah Binder said, “The stakes couldn’t be higher. Hospital errors remain the third leading cause of death in the U.S., so we want patients and purchasers to put safety first” (FierceHealthcare, 7/18).  

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