Computerized provider order entry in the clinical laboratory

J Pathol Inform. 2011;2:35. doi: 10.4103/2153-3539.83740. Epub 2011 Aug 13.


Clinicians have traditionally ordered laboratory tests using paper-based orders and requisitions. However, paper orders are becoming increasingly incompatible with the complexities, challenges, and resource constraints of our modern healthcare systems and are being replaced by electronic order entry systems. Electronic systems that allow direct provider input of diagnostic testing or medication orders into a computer system are known as Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) systems. Adoption of laboratory CPOE systems may offer institutions many benefits, including reduced test turnaround time, improved test utilization, and better adherence to practice guidelines. In this review, we outline the functionality of various CPOE implementations, review the reported benefits, and discuss strategies for using CPOE to improve the test ordering process. Further, we discuss barriers to the implementation of CPOE systems that have prevented their more widespread adoption.

Keywords: Computerized provider order entry; laboratory operations; test utilization.