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As a result of strict guidelines and requirements from the federal government's Meaningful Use criteria, all hospitals have experienced a great deal of change on the daily operations of their health care facility.While abiding by these changes, South County Hospital has successfully implemented a system, Computer Provider Order Entry, CPOE, that promotes better care and safety for their patients.

CPOE is a system that has essential modernized transcribing tasks.Going live with the CPOE system has allowed South County Hospital to achieve stage 4 status in the HIMMS Analytics US EMR Adoption Model, a feat in which only 16% of hospitals in the country have reached! Mary Regan, MIS Analyst and CPOE Lead Analyst noted, "Prior to CPOE, doctors would write their orders, a unit secretary would transcribe each order and fax to the pharmacy for processing.With CPOE, we have automated the entire system; doctors can now enter their orders into a computer and direct them to any given department."Regan noted that CPOE will improve patient care and increase patient safety, adding that it will enhance the continuity of care and the legibility of documents.

The CPOE system is very unique in that it can be customized and tailored to each department's needs.After the first three weeks, 46% of South County Hospital's impatient orders are now being entered electronically, Regan noted "Having a physician champion on our project team has been a huge part of the success we have had in implementing CPOE, it has helped us customize the current system using a physician perspective."

Gary Croteau, Chief Information Officer, explained that "Order Entry was only the latest accomplishment with this project.We recently implemented Medication Reconciliation in the Emergency and inpatient units, and enabled physicians to enter their progress notes electronically.Having these documents electronic speeds the access to the information for all care-givers and greatly enhances legibility.In fact, in many cases the electronic progress note actually reduces the time in takes providers to document, which has been well received by physicians.Over the next couple of months, we will be introducing e-Prescribing capabilities that will transmit patient prescription orders directly to their pharmacy of choice."

With its intensive year long planning, the CPOE project has granted great opportunity for South County Hospital in reaching their goals of improving quality outcomes, care, and safety for their patients.

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