Background:

Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is a widely advocated patient safety intervention yet little is known about its adoption by attending physicians or at community hospitals.

Method:

We measured order entry rates of attending physicians at 2 hospitals that shared a commercially available CPOE system and paired these findings with the results of a 20‐item survey that assessed attitudes concerning the impact of CPOE on individual workflow, quality of care and patient safety.

Summary of Results:

356 (71%) of 502 surveys were returned by physicians who on average placed 66% of their orders directly into the computer. Forty‐two percent of respondents placed ≥80% of their orders electronically while one‐third placed ≤20% of their orders into the system. Neither gender, years since medical school graduation, exposure to CPOE during training, or use of computers in the outpatient arena were associated with the rate of order entry.

When compared to low users (≤20%), physicians who were high (≥80%) and intermediate (21‐79%) users of the system were more likely to believe that CPOE enabled them to place orders more efficiently, that directly entered orders were carried out more rapidly, and that these orders were associated with fewer medication and other error types.

Statement of Conclusions:

The adoption of CPOE by attending physicians varies widely. Attitudes towards the impact of CPOE on individual efficiency, timeliness of care and patient safety are more strongly associated with the use of these systems than are factors such as gender, years since graduation or prior experience with computerized order entry.

Author Disclosure Block:

P.K. Lindenauer, None; D. Ling, None; P. Pekow, None; A. Crawford, None; D. Naglieri‐Prescod, None; N. Hoople, None; J. Fitzgerald, None; E.M. Benjamin, None.