Although one third of hospitals in the U.S. use computerized physician (CPOE) systems, there has yet to be a link with decreased mortality rates at these hospitals. It is theorized that CPOE systems can help to decrease mortality rates by allowing doctors to relay prescriptions to pharmacists without delay, and without the need for the pharmacist to decipher doctors' handwriting.
According to a study in Pediatrics, the mortality rate at a California hospital declined by 20% in the 18 month period after implementing CPOE. This is the first study to show such a result. More research is needed, however, as the hospital also implemented other changes during this time period that could have affected the study’s results.
(Sources: Pediatrics, May 3, 2010; Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, May 4, 2010)