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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2004 Mar-Apr;11(2):100-3. Epub 2003 Nov 21.

Computerized physician order entry: helpful or harmful?

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  • 1University of North Carolina School of Medicine, UNC Health Care System, CB 7280, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is touted as a major improvement in patient safety, primarily as a result of the Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical errors and the subsequent formation of the "Leapfrog Group" of companies to preferentially direct their employees' health care to those institutions that install such systems (as part of directives that "Leapfrog" feels will improve patient care). Although the literature suggests that such systems have the potential to improve patient outcomes through decrease of adverse drug events, actual improvements in medical outcomes have not been documented. Installation of such systems could actually increase the number of adverse drug events and result in higher overall medical costs, particularly in the first few years of their adoption.

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