Objective: To identify perceptions held by physicians of the benefits of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and factors influencing its successful implementation in the context of the increased presence of a clinical pharmacist on ward.
Setting: A 2000-bed University Hospital.
Method: A cross-section opinion survey was conducted of all permanent physicians of the hospital to determine their perception on the benefits, or otherwise, of CPOE. Questionnaires, built upon the analysis of 10 preliminary semi-structured interviews with physicians, were sent to physicians by electronic and paper mail. It comprised three sections with a 4 level Likert scale: general perception of CPOE benefits (items 1.1-1.8); opinion on the introduction of the CPOE system in the hospital (item 2); opinion on the presence of a pharmacist on ward (item 3). A fourth section recorded the respondent's profile.
Main outcome measures: Level of agreement on the items describing the general perception of CPOE benefits; opinion on the introduction of a CPOE system in the hospital; and opinion on the pharmacist's presence on ward. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was conducted on sections one and two. Analysis of this PCA representation in terms of the respondents' profile was performed.
Results: One hundred and one physicians (18%) participated in the survey. Most (83%) physicians favoured the implementation of a CPOE (item 2). Among the advantages of CPOE, the greatest agreement concerned items related to safety and regulatory issues (from 80 to 76% agreement). Other items related to management issues were perceived as less tangible benefits (from 50 to 67% agreement). The increased presence of a pharmacist on the ward was supported by 94% of physicians. The PCA representation using profile items produced a 2-factor solution, accounting for 68% of the variance, with former experience of collaboration with a pharmacist (P = 0.002) and senior physician status (P = 0.013) positively influencing the perception of the CPOE.
Conclusion: Endorsement by senior physicians and the presence of a clinical pharmacist on ward promote a positive attitude towards CPOE and facilitate its implementation.