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Int J Med Inform. 2003 Mar;69(2-3):235-50.

Implementing computerized physician order entry: the importance of special people.

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Division of Medical Informatics and Outcomes Research, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97201-3098, USA.



To articulate important lessons learned during a study to identify success factors for implementing computerized physician order entry (CPOE) in inpatient and outpatient settings.


Qualitative study by a multidisciplinary team using data from observation, focus groups, and both formal and informal interviews. Data were analyzed using a grounded approach to develop a taxonomy of patterns and themes from the transcripts and field notes.


The theme we call Special People is explored here in detail. A taxonomy of types of Special People includes administrative leaders, clinical leaders (champions, opinion leaders, and curmudgeons), and bridgers or support staff who interface directly with users.


The recognition and nurturing of Special People should be among the highest priorities of those implementing computerized physician order entry. Their education and training must be a goal of teaching programs in health administration and medical informatics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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