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CPOE system design aspects and their qualitative effect on usability.

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Department of Medical Informatics, Academic Medical Center-University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Although many studies have discussed the benefits of Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) systems, their configuration can have a great impact on clinicians' adoption of these systems. Poorly designed CPOE systems can lead to usability problems, users' dissatisfaction and may disrupt normal flow of clinical activities. This paper reports on a literature review focused on the identification of CPOE medication systems' design aspects that impact CPOE systems' usability and create opportunities for medication errors. Our review is based on a systematic literature search in PubMed, EMBASE and Ovid MEDLINE for relevant publications from 1986-2006. We categorized the design aspects extracted from relevant publications into six different groups: 1) timing of alerts, 2) log in/out procedures, 3) pick lists and drop down menus, 4) clues and guidelines, 5) documentation and data entry options, and 6) screen display and layout. Our review shows that the manner in which a CPOE system is configured can have a high impact on ease of system use, task behavior of clinicians in ordering drugs, and medication errors. Characterization of consequences associated with certain CPOE design aspects provides insight into how CPOE system designs can be improved to enhance physicians' adoption of these systems and their success. Recommendations are provided to enable CPOE system designers to create CPOE systems that are not only more user friendly and efficient but safer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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