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If there’s one thing that medical staff despise with all their being, it’s disrupting workflow to adopt a new system. If there’s one thing they cannot deny, it’s that implementing CPOE exponentially increases meaningful use in areas such as health information technology. Administrators and case studies all over the world have researched what it takes to diminish the tribulations that transitioning to a new CPOE brings, but what are the factors that the most successful installations share?

Proven successful CPOE implementations are achieved by having factors such as having an effective governing body with representatives of affected groups, having the purpose of the CPOE meaningful use in sight at all times, a long period of preparation and training before the actual implementation, and active in-person support groups.

How can Computerized Provider/Physician Order Entry (CPOE) be implemented so that the transition is made as easy as possible for everyone in the clinic? Read below to learn more about the common factors in successful implementation. 

Automate the Physician Ordering Processes

The entire point of having a new CPOE implementation is to improve the safety of patients through the automation of physician orders, but as the stress and everything that has to be accomplished to implement the CPOE medical system comes to ahead, it will become difficult to keep that point as the focus.

While you go through the ins, outs, and fine print of CPOE, you have to keep in mind that the goal is to automate the ordering process of your physicians, not of the workflows of your nurses, ancillary staff, and the administrative staff in addition to the workflow of your physician.

Relieve Fears and Misconceptions

The natural initial response to major changes in a facility with the delicate economy of a snowflake is going to be fear, followed by suspicion, followed by agitation. It’s vital to alleviate fears and the suspicion that the executives don’t care about how implementing the new CPOE will affect them before, during, and after the transition.

Success came from having strong, clinical leaders address the fear of the oncoming change and especially fears such as the security of the new system, what happens if the computer goes down, would the data be backed up?, etc.

Stable Organization and Multi-Disciplinary Representation

No plan runs smoothly if it’s executed on a whim and in the hopes that it will go well. The most successful community hospitals for successful CPOE implementation all noted the importance of having a committee whose focus was to determine the goals, timelines, policies, how to measure the success of the CPOE, and how to get each member of each department to work together.

 

The committees that had the most success in their implementation made sure to have doctors, pharmacists, and nurses, as well as the executives at the committee table to represent the staff who are the most affected by CPOE and who can give valuable insights into how proposed implementation plans might go.

Who knows the obstacles and potential hiccups better than those who can tell you exactly where the new CPOE medical system will disrupt the current workflow? Through such a committee each member will be able to see the value the system will have to its users as well as the tradeoffs between the current and proposed systems.

Long and Thorough Preparation

A new system that requires its users to relearn how it works and break the habits they acquired through the old system should never be sprung up all of a sudden. Nothing causes resentment faster in health facilities.

Instead, there should be as much time for preparation as possible in between the recognition of the need for a new and greater CPOE meaningful use and its implementation.

The institutions that had the least trouble occurring through their implementations were sure to expect the critical need for more than one method of training, the need to plan meetings with implementation groups to organize staff training, and the need to organize the training to be thorough. From basic computer skills upward.

For some, there were months leading up to the CPOE implementation so that everyone was properly trained and everyone had an opportunity to ask clarifying questions and point out foreseeable problems.

Provide More Than Sufficient Support

One of the greatest frustrations medical staff experience during their training and the transition is coming across an issue, or having a question, and having to call a number to hopefully have their concern answered or confusion cleared up.

So having an ample amount of live, in-person training and having enough peers in each department who are fully trained with the CPOE to give human, as-needed support during the go-live period, are both essential for a smooth transition.

During this preparation period, remember that everyone’s input is valuable, and you will eradicate bad feelings and certain human complications if everyone feels respected and considered.

Evaluate the Success of the Implementation

Once the CPOE meaningful use automated ordering process has been implemented and at least a month has passed to see how it’s working, your committee should meet one last time to evaluate what went well through the implementation process, what didn’t, and whether the new CPOE medical ordering system is meeting the success points.

Discuss what should change should you ever have to do this again. After all, you may have to do all of this again in just a few years, or a decade. All the information your team gathers and records now will be invaluable to you then and enable the next committee to improve through this evaluation.

Conclusion

Trying to accomplish the full cooperation of your entire facility to create the easiest transition of an ultimately beneficial system, is hard. However, if you follow the lead of those who have already gone through this process and have selflessly shared what worked for them, the process will be much easier for you.

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