Persistence Market Research (PMR) states that concern about medical errors as well as health care quality is apparent in recent media reports and can be seen to be increasing. Numerous studies have established that computerized physician order entry (CPOE) can decrease medication errors.
The global computerized physician order entry systems market was valued at US$999.4 million in 2014. It is expected to expand at a strong CAGR of 6.8% between 2014 and 2020 to reach US$1,481.7 million by 2020.
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There are a number of factors working against the adoption and utilization of computer applications in healthcare. A few years ago, these were described as a risky proposition due to the absence of human involvement, unreliable financial commitment in the long-term, meager planning and execution, substandard reliability as well as functionality of the technology, and dearth of medical terminology standardization. A number of these threats persist even today.
Here’s a brief overview of threats that participants in the CPOE market will have to overcome:
Variable work practices of physicians: CPOE have certain sociological barriers, such as variations in the work practices of physicians, especially the extra time taken to enter an order. Nevertheless, the organizational influence of CPOE systems as well as the effort, commitment, and resources needed to implement these systems are significant.
Low amount of technological integration in healthcare: This is a significant threat due to the present level of information technology applications related to healthcare. Healthcare has done an insufficient amount of investment in information technology as compared to other industries, and a majority of hospitals depend on legacy systems formulated to assist administrative functions. The hospitals with extensive clinical information systems have their data spread across various systems with the help of different terminologies and technology standards. Such applications have to be integrated for CPOE to be effective.
Inferior functionality of commercial CPOE systems: Most prominent CPOE systems at present are ‘homegrown’, but most hospitals with no resources to enhance their own systems will have to buy commercial systems. Not even a single commercial system presently available in the market matches homegrown systems in functionality and efficiency. This could soon change, but it will need considerable collaboration among vendors and delivery systems.
Inadequacy of financial incentives: A critical and consistent barrier to the CPOE market is the inadequacy of financial incentives for associations to endorse the technology. The expenditure involved in the implementation of CPOE is quite high, often requiring millions of dollars. Such heavy investment can be very hard to justify in the presence of commanding short-term cost pressures, for which the systems aren’t a reliable solution.
CPOE is not a cure-all solution, but it does present a decent tool to bring evidence-based, real-time decision support to physicians. It is imperative for employers, governments, and the community to realize that without a synchronized plan for encouraging the adoption of CPOE along with evaluating its impact, endorsement of this technology by physicians as well as hospitals will continue to be imperceptible.