Merriam, Kan. - On August 2, Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) said farewell to the days of handwritten physician and provider orders for all inpatients in favor of a new, computerized system designed to drastically reduce medical errors and speed up patient care. With the launch of its Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), SMMC is at the forefront of new medical technology designed to improve patient safety and ranks in the top 12 percent of the nation’s hospitals for having a fully-integrated electronic medical records system.
“The decision to implement CPOE is an example of Shawnee Mission Medical Center’s commitment to delivering the best possible patient care,” said Samuel H. Turner, Sr., President and CEO. “The evidence clearly shows that CPOE improves the care process.”
Studies show 770,000 Americans are harmed or die each year from adverse drug events. In addition, more than half of medication errors occur during the ordering process, many from illegible and incomplete orders. CPOE systems are widely regarded as the technical solution to medication ordering errors. Implementing CPOE means physicians actually place orders directly into the electronic medical record, eliminating paper, reducing errors and decreasing the amount of time elapsed from physician order to patient care. Published studies report that CPOE reduces medication errors in the hospital between 81 and 86 percent while saving hundreds of billions in annual costs.
“This is a gratifying time for everyone in the Shawnee Mission Medical Center family because it’s another instance where we’re implementing new technology to make our hospital the best it can be,” said Turner. “I’m excited for our associates and the medical staff and am proud of their efforts to bring this project to fruition. But the real winners are the patients because CPOE will help us deliver safer, superior care.”
SMMC associates have been preparing for the transition for several months. However, the effort of learning something new will undoubtedly benefit patients. Larry Botts, MD, SMMC Chief Medical Officer, emphasizes that CPOE will also help physicians make the most informed and best decisions for patients.
“CPOE helps physicians at the time of ordering medications by suggesting appropriate doses and frequencies, displaying relevant laboratory data and all of the results,” Botts said. “Such alerts give the prescriber options to change the order, or to provide additional data to substantiate the order.”
“Through their commitment to make a fairly radical change in how they deliver patient orders, our physicians and providers have shown their commitment to doing what’s best for patients and what’s best for Shawnee Mission Medical Center,” Turner said. “The bottom line is CPOE is better medicine. It offers tremendous gains in patient safety and quality.”
About Shawnee Mission Medical Center
Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) is a 504-bed facility with nearly 20,000 inpatient admissions and more than 200,000 outpatient admissions annually. SMMC has the busiest emergency department in Johnson County, the area's first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center, an accredited Breast Center and delivers more babies each year than any other hospital in the metropolitan area. SMMC employs more than 2,900 local residents and supports an exceptional staff of 700 physicians representing 50 medical specialties, the largest medical staff in Kansas City. Visit us on the Web at ShawneeMission.org.