Computerized Physician Order Entry


Hospitals can use Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) systems to order medications for patients in the hospital instead of writing out prescriptions by hand. Good CPOE systems alert hospital staff if they try to order a medication that could cause harm, such as prescribing an adult dosage for a child.

Because approximately 90% of medication errors occur during manual ordering and transcribing (hand writing and interpreting the prescription), the use of CPOE systems can help eliminate these types of errors.

CPOE integrates the medication order with patient information, such as allergies, lab results and other prescription data. The order is then automatically checked for potential errors or problems such as drug and allergy interactions or drug-to-drug interactions. Effective use of CPOE systems can help reduce the risk of a wrong drug or dose being delivered to a patient, and avert problems caused by poor handwriting, similar drug names, drug interactions and specification errors.

CPOE is one of The Leapfrog Group’s original quality and safety standards, and hospitals are asked to report on their use of this technology to reduce and prevent medication ordering errors. 

View Leapfrog Hospital Survey Results here.


Fact sheet on CPOE evidence, measure, and standards

CPOE Bibliography

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