Patients who have been treated at ALMH in the months since a
computerized physician order entry system has been used are not even
aware of the change. But it helps keep ALMH true to its goals of
great results and great patient experiences.
Less than 10 percent of hospitals have implemented a computerized
physician order entry system in an effort to reduce medication
errors. CPOE allows physicians to enter medication and testing
orders directly into an electronic medical record -- eliminating the
need for scanning, copying and transcribing orders, thus reducing
potential human error that can occur at each phase.
"We are proud to be among a small percentage of hospitals in the
United States to do this and feel it is an important part of
providing great patient care," says Dr. Melissa Cox, pediatrician
and internal medicine physician with Lincoln Healthcare Specialists.
ALMH continues to invest in proven technologies and procedures
that are beneficial to patients and that will allow the hospital to
fulfill its mission to improve the health of the people and
communities it serves. Computerized physician order entry is an
enhancement that will transition to the new hospital next year.
"CPOE reflects our commitment that ALMH will invest in tools and
technology that can prevent patient errors," said Dolan Dalpoas,
ALMH president and chief executive officer. "It was something we
could do now to benefit patients immediately. CPOE was the next
right step to further our mission of providing patient-centered care
that focuses on quality and safety."
Medication errors harm at least 1.5 million patients every year
in the nation's hospitals, long-term care facilities, and outpatient
clinics and result in billions of dollars in extra medical costs
nationwide, according to the Institute of Medicine's Committee on
Identifying and Preventing Medication Errors.
"I think CPOE is a lot safer way for physicians to communicate
what they want for their patients," says Mike Rohrer, manager of the
ALMH Pharmacy. "Patients should feel confident their physician is
entering the orders directly into the computer system."
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Besides helping to avoid transcription errors, alerts are built into
the system to prevent potential harm to patients. The system is
programmed to offer alerts when a dosage is incorrect, a drug
interaction is possible, a patient has an allergy, or a prescription
is duplicated. It can even eliminate duplicated or incorrect test
orders and pinpoint therapies that may not be medically necessary.
In the first week of transitioning to the computerized system, 51
percent of all pharmacy orders and 54 percent of all medical orders
(such as laboratory and radiology tests) were placed electronically.
Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private purchasers of
health care, promotes the use of computerized physician order entry
as a "gold standard" for intercepting the most common and serious
ALMH is a critical-access hospital that provides health care
services for the residents of Logan and eastern Mason County. The
hospital is one of six affiliates of Memorial Health System and is
fully accredited by The Joint Commission.
[Text from file received
from Abraham Lincoln Memorial