Computerized Entry of Drug Prescribing Order


It should be noted that at the global level, millions of errors related to the appointment and distribution of drugs are predicted. This leads to several millions of preventable adverse effects and millions of dollars that represent the costs of the necessary subsequent medical care (Charles, Cannon, Hall, & Coustasse, 2014). Global approaches to collecting, storing, and disseminating data can help reduce the errors made when prescribing and distributing medicine. Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) is one of the global standards designed to help solve this issue. The purpose of this paper is to answer three research questions related to CPOE, in particular, it is essential to determine the core of this standard, define its advantages, and evaluate its projected impact.

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The core of CPOE lies in the idea that it can replace recipes that are written manually with electronic orders. This approach involves reducing text recognition errors. Also, the costs for medicines can be reduced by the introduction of this module. With the implementation of this approach, health care specialists can use electronic databases regarding medicines, determine their compatibility with other drugs and medications, and refine their awareness on contraindications and so on (Khanna & Yen, 2014). After specialists receive the initial information, they can choose the method of treatment by medical standards. At the same time, the platform allows taking into account the cost of the medicinal product, the rational combination with other medicines, and the optimal intake regime. Some researchers state that this system will reduce the total cost of drugs up to 15%, which is a weighty argument displaying the need to implement the module across healthcare institutions.

Benefits of CPOE

The automation of the administration of prescription drugs offers several advantages. As mentioned above, computerized prescribing can eliminate illegible handwriting and spelling errors (Smith, 2013). Also, CPOE makes it possible to simplify the process of checking prescribed medications and saves time. Also, this clinical decision support system allows specialists to prevent medical errors associated with improper prescription of drugs, it provides the necessary information about a particular drug (for instance, its availability in a hospital and so on), and determines a plan for further action (Charles et al., 2014).

In general, this platform makes it possible to reduce the cost of organizing data. All participants in the supply chain in the health care system in one way or another interact with the product catalog. Significantly, most medical product databases require unique numbering and information that has to be entered manually. In this regard, there exists a high probability of discrepancy or inaccurate data entry, which creates certain problems for all key stakeholders (Khanna & Yen, 2014). Researchers provide many examples when one medical product used to have several different identifiers in the catalog or referred to different products from distributors. These issues have increased the costs for organizations and complicated the assistance process. Consequently, without an automated system, all participants are forced to spend a lot of time updating the catalogs and entering new information manually. The evidence suggests that despite all the efforts, inaccuracies were inevitable, which led to subsequent erroneous actions. Therefore, the emerging need for an automated approach is evident.

CPOE Statistics and Factual Information

The computerized input of orders by doctors must ensure the display of correct orders and the transfer of results (Khanna & Yen, 2014). Statistics for the US indicate that computerized order entry for ambulatory patients has shown positive cost estimates and results as evident from Table 1.

Details Statistics
Number of cases 2 million
Hospitalizations 190000
Savings 44 billion USD
Expenditures 4500 USD and more
Implementation 2 years

Table 1. USA Statistics.

To be more precise, the statistics revealed that about 2 million cases of adverse reactions to medicines, and more than 190 thousand hospitalizations per year had been eliminated. Also, the savings have been estimated at 44 billion USD a year. Regarding the costs of implementing this platform, the approximate expenses per one service provider, depending on the type of system, ranging from 4500 to 29000 USD. On average, analysts argue that intermediate and advanced systems tend to pay off within the first two years after the introduction of the system (Teufel, Kazley, & Basco, 2012).

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Apart from that, many researchers indicate the correlation between the implementation of CPOE and the decrease in the length of hospital stay (LOS) in patients. Graph 2 evidences a significant positive tendency in the reduced number of LOS.

The correlation between CPOE adoption and LOS (Schreiber & Shaha, 2016).
Graph 2. The correlation between CPOE adoption and LOS (Schreiber & Shaha, 2016).

According to Schreiber and Shaha (2016), computerized provider order entry implementation has served as a factor in reducing the length of hospital stay, which was reflected in 60% of cases under analysis. CPOE was an independent factor in this research, which means that no other factor apart from it was considered in measuring the intervention’s effectiveness. The study confirmed that apart from this conclusion, the platform enables healthcare institutions to cut down the costs and enhance patient and nursing outcomes, which was reflected in the decreased length of hospital stays.

Key Lessons

According to experts in the industry, the wide use of the system will allow achieving three major results. First, it will allow optimizing the work hours. The staff of health institutes will spend less time resolving disputable issues related to documentation and spend more time taking care of patients. This means an improvement in the quality of customer service (Smith, 2013). Secondly, such standardization involves minimizing waste products. Given that the use of CPOE will improve data quality and traceability, manufacturers will be able to monitor and manage negative trends in products better (Leung et al., 2012). Third, CPOE will increase the level of patient safety. CPOE module requires standard product identification and synchronization of the medication with centralized information, which will help to prevent patients from taking the wrong medication and eliminate adverse drug effects.


Thus, it can be concluded that computerized provider order entry can serve as a powerful tool for reducing the number of medical errors, ensuring patient safety, and enhancing care provision. This type of clinical decision support system can use preset rules to evaluate allergies, drug-drug interactions, and drug dosing at the time of ordering. Also, it can even suggest an appropriate dose by pulling in the patient’s age, weight, and renal function. However, despite the benefits CPOE brings to the institution, many health care institutions still do not employ it. Therefore, this topic can be leveraged to advance research regarding the module implementation and employment barriers that hinder the widespread use of this platform.


Charles, K., Cannon, M., Hall, R., & Coustasse, A. (2014). Can utilizing a computerized provider order entry (CPOE) system prevent hospital medical errors and adverse drug events? Perspectives in Health Information Management, 11, 1-16.

Khanna, R., & Yen, T. (2014). Computerized physician order entry. The Neurohospitalist, 4(1), 26-33.

Leung, A. A., Keohane, C., Amato, M., Simon, S., Coffey, M., Kaufman, N.,…Bates, D. (2012). Impact of vendor computerized physician order entry in community hospitals. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 27(7), 801-807.

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Schreiber, R., & Shaha, S. (2016). Computerised provider order entry adoption rates favourably impact length of stay. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 23(1), 459-465.

Smith, P. (2013). Making computerized provider order entry work. New York, NY: Springer.

Teufel, R. J., Kazley, A. S., & Basco, W. T. (2012). Is computerized physician order entry use associated with a decrease in hospital resource utilization in hospitals that care for children? Journal of Medical Systems, 36(4), 2411-2420.

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