Impact of vendor computerized physician order entry in community hospitals

Alexander A. Leung, Carol Keohane, Mary Amato, Steven R. Simon, Michael Coffey, Nathan Kaufman, Bismarck Cadet, Gordon Schiff, Eyal Zimlichman, Diane L. Seger, Catherine Yoon, Peter Song, David W. Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It is uncertain if computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems are effective at reducing adverse drug event (ADE) rates in community hospitals, where mainly vendor-developed applications are used. Objective: To evaluate the impact of vendor CPOE systems on the frequency of ADEs. Design AND PATIENTS: Prospective before-and-after study conducted from January 2005 to September 2010 at five Massachusetts community hospitals. Participants were adults admitted during the study period. A total of 2,000 charts were reviewed for orders, medication lists, laboratory reports, admission histories, notes, discharge summaries, and flow sheets. Main Measures: The primary outcome measure was the rate of preventable ADEs. Rates of potential ADEs and overall ADEs were secondary outcomes. Key Results: The rate of preventable ADEs decreased following implementation (10.6/100 vs. 7.0/100 admissions; p∈=∈0.007) with a similar effect observed at each site. However, the associated decrease in preventable ADEs was balanced against an increase in potential ADEs (44.4/100 vs. 57.5/100 admissions; p∈<∈0.001). We observed a reduction of 34.0% for preventable ADEs, but an increase of 29.5% in potential ADEs following implementation. The overall rate of ADEs increased (14.6/100 vs. 18.7/100 admissions; p∈=∈0.03), which was driven by non-preventable events (4.0/100 vs. 11.7/100 admissions; p∈<∈0.001). Conclusions: Adoption of vendor CPOE systems was associated with a decrease in the preventable ADE rate by a third, although the rates of potential ADEs and overall ADEs increased. Our findings support the use of vendor CPOE systems as a means to reduce drug-related injury and harm. The potential ADE rate could be reduced by making refinements to the vendor applications and their associated decision support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-807
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • adverse drug events
  • medication safety
  • unintended consequences


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of vendor computerized physician order entry in community hospitals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this