Computerised Physician Order Entry (CPOE) is an application that enables health care workers to enter medical orders into a computer system that is located within an inpatient or ambulatory setting. CPOE replaces traditional methods of placing medication orders, including written (paper prescriptions), verbal (in person or via telephone) and fax. Most CPOE systems allow health care workers to electronically specify medication orders as well as laboratory, admission, radiology, referral, and procedure orders. CPOE allows the computerised entry of healthcare provider instructions and helps eliminate errors at every step in the medication process, thereby improving patient outcomes, saving on time, and limiting unnecessary spending of resources.
This policy brief discusses the need for adoption of IT, including CPOE, in health facilities in Kenya and the need for implementation research on adoption of CPOE systems in public health facilities to provide evidence on the impact of such systems as well as lessons on how best such systems can be adopted in public facilities.