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1.  Recommended practices for computerized clinical decision support and knowledge management in community settings: a qualitative study 
The purpose of this study was to identify recommended practices for computerized clinical decision support (CDS) development and implementation and for knowledge management (KM) processes in ambulatory clinics and community hospitals using commercial or locally developed systems in the U.S.
Guided by the Multiple Perspectives Framework, the authors conducted ethnographic field studies at two community hospitals and five ambulatory clinic organizations across the U.S. Using a Rapid Assessment Process, a multidisciplinary research team: gathered preliminary assessment data; conducted on-site interviews, observations, and field surveys; analyzed data using both template and grounded methods; and developed universal themes. A panel of experts produced recommended practices.
The team identified ten themes related to CDS and KM. These include: 1) workflow; 2) knowledge management; 3) data as a foundation for CDS; 4) user computer interaction; 5) measurement and metrics; 6) governance; 7) translation for collaboration; 8) the meaning of CDS; 9) roles of special, essential people; and 10) communication, training, and support. Experts developed recommendations about each theme. The original Multiple Perspectives framework was modified to make explicit a new theoretical construct, that of Translational Interaction.
These ten themes represent areas that need attention if a clinic or community hospital plans to implement and successfully utilize CDS. In addition, they have implications for workforce education, research, and national-level policy development. The Translational Interaction construct could guide future applied informatics research endeavors.
PMCID: PMC3334687  PMID: 22333210
2.  The Unintended Consequences of Computerized Provider Order Entry: Findings From a Mixed Methods Exploration* 
To describe the foci, activities, methods, and results of a four-year research project identifying the unintended consequences of computerized provider order entry (CPOE).
Using a mixed methods approach, we identified and categorized into nine types 380 examples of the unintended consequences of CPOE gleaned from fieldwork data and a conference of experts. We then conducted a national survey in the U.S.A. to discover how hospitals with varying levels of infusion, a measure of CPOE sophistication, recognize and deal with unintended consequences. The research team, with assistance from experts, identified strategies for managing the nine types of unintended adverse consequences and developed and disseminated tools for CPOE implementers to help in addressing these consequences.
Hospitals reported that levels of infusion are quite high and that these types of unintended consequences are common. Strategies for avoiding or managing the unintended consequences are similar to best practices for CPOE success published in the literature.
Development of a taxonomy of types of unintended adverse consequences of CPOE using qualitative methods allowed us to craft a national survey and discover how widespread these consequences are. Using mixed methods, we were able to structure an approach for addressing the skillful management of unintended consequences as well.
PMCID: PMC2683676  PMID: 18786852
Attitude to computers; Hospital information systems; User-computer interface; Physician order entry
3.  Computerized Provider Order Entry Adoption: Implications for Clinical Workflow 
To identify and describe unintended adverse consequences related to clinical workflow when implementing or using computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems.
We analyzed qualitative data from field observations and formal interviews gathered over a three-year period at five hospitals in three organizations. Five multidisciplinary researchers worked together to identify themes related to the impacts of CPOE systems on clinical workflow.
CPOE systems can affect clinical work by 1) introducing or exposing human/computer interaction problems, 2) altering the pace, sequencing, and dynamics of clinical activities, 3) providing only partial support for the work activities of all types of clinical personnel, 4) reducing clinical situation awareness, and 5) poorly reflecting organizational policy and procedure.
As CPOE systems evolve, those involved must take care to mitigate the many unintended adverse effects these systems have on clinical workflow. Workflow issues resulting from CPOE can be mitigated by iteratively altering both clinical workflow and the CPOE system until a satisfactory fit is achieved.
PMCID: PMC2607519  PMID: 19020942
attitude to computers; hospital information systems; user–computer interface; physician order entry
4.  Multiple Perspectives on the Meaning of Clinical Decision Support 
AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings  2010;2010:1427-1431.
Clinical Decision Support (CDS) is viewed as a means to improve safety and efficiency in health care. Yet the lack of consensus about what is meant by CDS represents a barrier to effective design, implementation, and utilization of CDS tools. We conducted a multi-site qualitative inquiry to understand how different people define and describe CDS. Using subjects’ multiple perspectives we were able to gain new insights as to what stakeholders want CDS to achieve and how to achieve it even when those perspectives are competing and conflicting.
PMCID: PMC3041401  PMID: 21347119
5.  Multiple Perspectives on the Meaning of Clinical Decision Support 
Clinical Decision Support (CDS) is viewed as a means to improve safety and efficiency in health care. Yet the lack of a consensus around what is meant by CDS represents a barrier to effective design, use, and utilization of CDS tools. We conducted a multi-site qualitative inquiry to understand how different people define and describe CDS. Using subjects’ multiple perspectives we were able to gain new insights as to what stakeholders want CDS to achieve and how to achieve it; even at times when those perspectives are competing and conflicting.
PMCID: PMC3041408  PMID: 21347063
6.  Assessing the Anticipated Consequences of Computer-based Provider Order Entry at Three Community Hospitals Using an Open-ended, Semi-structured Survey Instrument 
To determine what “average” clinicians in organizations that were about to implement Computer-based Provider Order Entry (CPOE) were expecting to occur, we conducted an open-ended, semi-structured survey at three community hospitals.
We created an open-ended, semi-structured, interview survey template that we customized for each organization. This interview-based survey was designed to be administered orally to clinicians and take approximately five minutes to complete, although clinicians were allowed to discuss as many advantages or disadvantages of the impending system roll-out as they wanted to.
Our survey findings did not reveal any overly negative, critical, problematic, or striking sets of concerns. However, from the standpoint of unintended consequences, we found that clinicians were anticipating only a few of the events, emotions, and process changes that are likely to result from CPOE.
The results of such an open-ended survey may prove useful in helping CPOE leaders to understand user perceptions and predictions about CPOE, because it can expose issues about which more communication, or discussion, is needed. Using the survey, implementation strategies and management techniques outlined in this paper, any chief information officer (CIO) or chief medical information officer (CMIO) should be able to adequately assess their organization's CPOE readiness, make the necessary mid-course corrections, and be prepared to deal with the currently identified unintended consequences of CPOE should they occur.
PMCID: PMC2668516  PMID: 17931963
Medical Order Entry Systems; Ethnology; Hospitals, Community; Medical Informatics
7.  Persistent Paper: The Myth of “Going Paperless” 
How does paper usage change following the introduction of Computerized Physician Order Entry and the Electronic Medical Record (EMR/CPOE)? To answer that question we analyzed data collected from fourteen sites across the U.S. We found paper in widespread use in all institutions we studied. Analysis revealed psychological, ergonomic, technological, and regulatory reasons for the persistence of paper in an electronic environment. Paper has unique attributes allowing it to fill gaps in information timeliness, availability, and reliability in pursuit of improved patient care. Creative uses have led to “better paper.”
PMCID: PMC2815440  PMID: 20351841
9.  Adding insight: A qualitative cross-site study of physician order entry 
The research questions, strategies, and results of a 7-year qualitative study of computerized physician order entry implementation (CPOE) at successful sites are reviewed over time. The iterative nature of qualitative inquiry stimulates a consecutive stream of research foci, which, with each iteration, add further insight into the overarching research question. A multidisciplinary team of researchers studied CPOE implementation in four organizations using a multi-method approach to address the question “what are the success factors for implementing CPOE?” Four major themes emerged after studying three sites; ten themes resulted from blending the first results with those from a fourth site; and twelve principles were generated when results of a qualitative analysis of consensus conference transcripts were combined with the field data. The study has produced detailed descriptions of factors related to CPOE success and insight into the implementation process.
PMCID: PMC1524826  PMID: 15964780
Attitude to computers; Hospital information systems; User-computer interface; Physician order entry
10.  A Rapid Assessment Process for Clinical Informatics Interventions 
Informatics interventions generally take place in rapidly changing settings where many variables are outside the control of the evaluator. Assessment must be timely so that feedback can instigate modification of the intervention. Adapting a methodology from international health and epidemiology, we have developed and refined a Rapid Assessment Process (RAP) for informatics while conducting a study of clinical decision support (CDS) in community hospitals. Using RAP, we have not only been able to provide implementers with actionable feedback, but we have also discovered that users and informaticians conceptualize CDS in vastly different ways. Further understanding of this difference will be needed if we are to improve CDS acceptance by users.
PMCID: PMC2656056  PMID: 18999075
11.  The Extent and Importance of Unintended Consequences Related to Computerized Provider Order Entry 
Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems can help hospitals improve health care quality, but they can also introduce new problems. The extent to which hospitals experience unintended consequences of CPOE, which include more than errors, has not been quantified in prior research.
To discover the extent and importance of unintended adverse consequences related to CPOE implementation in U.S. hospitals.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Building on a prior qualitative study involving fieldwork at five hospitals, we developed and then administered a telephone survey concerning the extent and importance of CPOE-related unintended adverse consequences to representatives from 176 hospitals in the U.S. that have CPOE.
Self report by key informants of the extent and level of importance to the overall function of the hospital of eight types of unintended adverse consequences experienced by sites with inpatient CPOE.
We found that hospitals experienced all eight types of unintended adverse consequences, although respondents identified several they considered more important than others. Those related to new work/more work, workflow, system demands, communication, emotions, and dependence on the technology were ranked as most severe, with at least 72% of respondents ranking them as moderately to very important. Hospital representatives are less sure about shifts in the power structure and CPOE as a new source of errors. There is no relation between kinds of unintended consequences and number of years CPOE has been used. Despite the relatively short length of time most hospitals have had CPOE (median five years), it is highly infused, or embedded, within work practice at most of these sites.
The unintended consequences of CPOE are widespread and important to those knowledgeable about CPOE in hospitals. They can be positive, negative, or both, depending on one’s perspective, and they continue to exist over the duration of use. Aggressive detection and management of adverse unintended consequences is vital for CPOE success.
PMCID: PMC2244906  PMID: 17460127
12.  Types of Unintended Consequences Related to Computerized Provider Order Entry 
To identify types of clinical unintended adverse consequences resulting from computerized provider order entry (CPOE) implementation.
An expert panel provided initial examples of adverse unintended consequences of CPOE. The authors, using qualitative methods, gathered and analyzed additional examples from five successful CPOE sites.
Using a card sort method, the authors developed a categorization scheme for the 79 unintended consequences initially identified and then iteratively modified the scheme to categorize 245 additional adverse consequences resulting from fieldwork. Because the focus centered on consequences requiring prevention or remedial action, the authors did not further analyze reported unintended beneficial (positive) consequences.
Unintended adverse consequences (UACs) fell into nine major categories (in order of decreasing frequency): 1) more/new work for clinicians; 2) unfavorable workflow issues; 3) never ending system demands; 4) problems related to paper persistence; 5) untoward changes in communication patterns and practices; 6) negative emotions; 7) generation of new kinds of errors; 8) unexpected changes in the power structure; and 9) overdependence on the technology. Clinical decision support features introduced many of these unintended consequences.
Identifying and understanding the types and in some instances the causes of unintended adverse consequences associated with CPOE will enable system developers and implementers to better manage implementation and maintenance of future CPOE projects.
PMCID: PMC1561794  PMID: 16799128
13.  Some Unintended Consequences of Clinical Decision Support Systems 
Clinical decision support systems (CDS) coupled with computerized physician/provider order entry (CPOE) can improve the quality of patient care and the efficiency of hospital operations. However, they can also produce unintended consequences. Using qualitative methods, a multidisciplinary team gathered and analyzed data about the unintended consequences of CPOE, identifying nine types, and found that CDS-generated unintended consequences appeared among all types. Further analysis of 47 CDS examples uncovered three themes related to CDS content: elimination or shifting of human roles; difficulty in keeping content current; and inappropriate content. Three additional themes related to CDS presentation were found: rigidity of the system; alert fatigue; and potential for errors. Management of CDS must include careful selection and maintenance of content and prudent decision making about human computer interaction opportunities.
PMCID: PMC2813668  PMID: 18693791
14.  Overdependence on Technology: An Unintended Adverse Consequence of Computerized Provider Order Entry  
Computerized provider order entry(CPOE) and other clinical information systems can help reduce medical errors, promote practice standardization, and improve the quality of patient care. However, implementing these systems can result in unintended adverse consequences. Our multidisciplinary team used qualitative methods to gather and analyze data describing unintended adverse consequences related to CPOE adoption and use. Overdependence on technology emerged as one of nine major types we identified. Careful analysis of these data revealed three themes: 1) system downtime can create chaos when there are insufficient backup systems in place, 2) users have false expectations regarding data accuracy and processing, and 3) some clinicians cannot work efficiently without computerized systems. We provide recommendations for mitigating these important issues.
PMCID: PMC2710605  PMID: 18693805
15.  Recommendations for Monitoring and Evaluation of In-Patient Computer-based Provider Order Entry Systems: Results of a Delphi Survey 
A survey of 20 clinical informaticists with experience in implementing Computer-based Provider Order Entry (CPOE) systems revealed the lack of easily accessible measurements of success. Using a Delphi approach, the authors, together with a group of CPOE experts, selected eight key CPOE-related measures to assess system availability, use, benefits, and e-Iatrogenesis. We suggest collecting these measures on a widespread/national basis would be wise stewardship and result in tighter feedback about both clinician workflow and patient safety. Establishing reliable benchmarks against which new implementations and existing systems can be compared will enhance organizations' ability to effectively manage and hence to realize the full benefits of their CPOE implementations.
PMCID: PMC2655851  PMID: 18693921
16.  A survey of factors affecting clinician acceptance of clinical decision support 
Real-time clinical decision support (CDS) integrated into clinicians' workflow has the potential to profoundly affect the cost, quality, and safety of health care delivery. Recent reports have identified a surprisingly low acceptance rate for different types of CDS. We hypothesized that factors affecting CDS system acceptance could be categorized as relating to differences in patients, physicians, CDS-type, or environmental characteristics.
We conducted a survey of all adult primary care physicians (PCPs, n = 225) within our group model Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) to identify factors that affect their acceptance of CDS. We defined clinical decision support broadly as "clinical information" that is either provided to you or accessible by you, from the clinical workstation (e.g., enhanced flow sheet displays, health maintenance reminders, alternative medication suggestions, order sets, alerts, and access to any internet-based information resources).
110 surveys were returned (49%). There were no differences in the age, gender, or years of service between those who returned the survey and the entire adult PCP population. Overall, clinicians stated that the CDS provided "helps them take better care of their patients" (3.6 on scale of 1:Never – 5:Always), "is worth the time it takes" (3.5), and "reminds them of something they've forgotten" (3.2). There was no difference in the perceived acceptance rate of alerts based on their type (i.e., cost, safety, health maintenance). When asked about specific patient characteristics that would make the clinicians "more", "equally" or "less" likely to accept alerts: 41% stated that they were more (8% stated "less") likely to accept alerts on elderly patients (> 65 yrs); 38% were more (14% stated less) likely to accept alerts on patients with more than 5 current medications; and 38% were more (20% stated less) likely to accept alerts on patients with more than 5 chronic clinical conditions. Interestingly, 80% said they were less likely to accept alerts when they were behind schedule and 84% of clinicians admitted to being at least 20 minutes behind schedule "some", "most", or "all of the time".
Even though a majority of our clinical decision support suggestions are not explicitly followed, clinicians feel they are of benefit and would be even more beneficial if they had more time available to address them.
PMCID: PMC1403751  PMID: 16451720
17.  An Unintended Consequence of CPOE Implementation: Shifts in Power, Control, and Autonomy 
Having found that an unintended consequence of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) implementation is “changes in the power structure” of the organization, we sought a deeper understanding of what was happening and why. If such consequences can be anticipated, they can be better managed. Using qualitative methods to study five successful CPOE sites, a multidisciplinary team found that CPOE enables shifts in power related to work redistribution and safety initiatives and causes a perceived loss of control and autonomy by clinicians. With recognition of the extent of these shifts, clinicians can anticipate them and will no longer be surprised by them. Greater provider involvement in planning, quality initiatives, and the work of clinical information coalitions/committees can benefit the organization and provide a different kind of power and satisfaction to clinicians.
PMCID: PMC1839304  PMID: 17238293
18.  Ambulatory Computerized Physician Order Entry Implementation 
As part of a broader effort to identify success factors for implementing computerized physician order entry (CPOE), factors specific to the ambulatory setting were investigated in the field at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. A multidisciplinary team of five qualitative researchers spent seven months at four clinics conducting observations, interviews, and focus groups. The team analyzed the data using a combination of template and grounded theory approaches. The result is a description of fourteen themes, clustered into technology, organizational, personal, and environmental categories. While similar to inpatient study results in many respects, this outpatient CPO investigation generated subtly different themes.
PMCID: PMC1560502  PMID: 16778992
19.  Principles for a Successful Computerized Physician Order Entry Implementation 
To identify success factors for implementing computerized physician order entry (CPOE), our research team took both a top-down and bottom-up approach and reconciled the results to develop twelve overarching principles to guide implementation. A consensus panel of experts produced ten Considerations with nearly 150 sub-considerations, and a three year project using qualitative methods at multiple successful sites for a grounded theory approach yielded ten general themes with 24 sub-themes. After reconciliation using a meta-matrix approach, twelve Principles, which cluster into groups forming the mnemonic CPOE emerged. Computer technology principles include: temporal concerns; technology and meeting information needs; multidimensional integration; and costs. Personal principles are: value to users and tradeoffs; essential people; and training and support. Organizational principles include: foundational underpinnings; collaborative project management; terms, concepts and connotations; and improvement through evaluation and learning. Finally, Environmental issues include the motivation and context for implementing such systems.
PMCID: PMC1480169  PMID: 14728129
20.  Computerized physician order entry and communication: reciprocal impacts. 
Participant observation, focus group and oral history techniques were used to collect data from four distinctly different sites across the U.S. Data were examined initially to identify success factors for computerized physician order entry (CPOE) implementation. These data, reexamined for communication issues, revealed significant impacts on communication channels and relationships unanticipated by the implementers. Effects on physician-nurse interactions, pharmacy roles, and patient communications that vary by time and location were noted. The importance of robust bi-directional information channels between administration and staff was demonstrated to be potentially "mission-critical." The recommendation for implementers is "Plan to be surprised." Careful planning and pre-work are important but, no matter how much an institution prepares for the upheaval of CPOE, unforeseen consequences are inevitable. The presence of a prepared and capable implementation support group is essential.
PMCID: PMC2244295  PMID: 12463821

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