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HIT Think: Why those studying CPOE usability are asking the wrong questions

July 2016
Health Data Management


[The following commentary was contributed by PatientKeeper CEO Paul Brient]

Healthcare IT has caused angst among physicians for decades. The evidence bombards us:

  • The American Medical Association has mounted a campaign to bring physicians’ complaints to the attention of healthcare policy makers.
  • A survey on physician use of electronic health record systems found that more than half of all respondents reported their EHR system had a negative impact on costs, efficiency or productivity.
  • Now another study from the Mayo Clinic reports the use of EHR systems and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) reduces physician satisfaction and contributes to higher rates of burnout.

In the case of CPOE specifically, poor adoption plagued the technology in the United States from the first deployment in the late 1960s up until the advent of the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use. In 2010, KLAS reported that fewer than one-sixth of U.S. hospitals were doing even a nominal amount of CPOE, and less than 6 percent of hospitals had all their physicians using a CPOE system (most of those had lots of residents to help out). In short, CPOE as a technology was a 40-year failure.

Times have changed, and now the global CPOE market is projected to reach $1.9 billion by 2024. Still, while CPOE deployment and usage has skyrocketed, user satisfaction has not.

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