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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2007 Oct 11:94-8.

Overdependence on technology: an unintended adverse consequence of computerized provider order entry.

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  • 1Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA.


Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) and other clinical information systems can help reduce medical errors, promote practice standardization, and improve the quality of patient care. However, implementing these systems can result in unintended adverse consequences. Our multidisciplinary team used qualitative methods to gather and analyze data describing unintended adverse consequences related to CPOE adoption and use. Overdependence on technology emerged as one of nine major types we identified. Careful analysis of these data revealed three themes: 1) system downtime can create chaos when there are insufficient backup systems in place, 2) users have false expectations regarding data accuracy and processing, and 3) some clinicians cannot work efficiently without computerized systems. We provide recommendations for mitigating these important issues.

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