In 2006 St. Mary Mercy Hospital implemented a Computerized Provider Order Entry system. This system eliminates the need to interpret hand written orders.
The Leapfrog Group for Patient Safety gathers and reports information on hospital quality and patient safety efforts to help patients make informed decisions about where to receive hospital care. This organization describes the impact of these systems on patient safety as follows:
"Computer physician order entry (CPOE) systems are electronic prescribing systems that intercept errors when they most commonly occur - at the time medications are ordered. With CPOE, physicians enter orders into a computer rather than on paper. Orders are integrated with patient information, including laboratory and prescription data. The order is then automatically checked for potential errors or problems. Specific benefits of CPOE include:
- Prompts that warn against the possibility of drug interaction, allergy or overdose;
- Accurate, current information that helps physicians keep up with new drugs as they are introduced into the market;
- Drug-specific information that eliminates confusion among drug names that sound alike;
- Improved communication between physicians and pharmacists; and
- Reduced healthcare costs due to improved efficiencies."