Impact of vendor computerized physician order entry on patients with renal impairment in community hospitals

J Hosp Med. 2013 Oct;8(10):545-52. doi: 10.1002/jhm.2072.


Background: Adverse drug events (ADEs) are common among hospitalized patients with renal impairment.

Objective: To determine whether computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems with clinical decision support capabilities reduce the frequency of renally related ADEs in hospitals.

Design, setting, and patients: Quasi-experimental study of 1590 adult patients with renal impairment who were admitted to 5 community hospitals in Massachusetts from January 2005 to September 2010, preimplementation and postimplementation of CPOE.

Intervention: Varying levels of clinical decision support, ranging from basic CPOE only (sites 4 and 5), rudimentary clinical decision support (sites 1 and 2), and advanced clinical decision support (site 3).

Measurements: Primary outcome was the rate of preventable ADEs from nephrotoxic and/or renally cleared medications. Similarly, secondary outcomes were the rates of overall ADEs and potential ADEs.

Key results: There was a 45% decrease in the rate of preventable ADEs following implementation (8.0/100 vs 4.4/100 admissions; P < 0.01), and the impact was related to the level of decision support. Basic CPOE was not associated with any significant benefit (4.6/100 vs 4.3/100 admissions; P = 0.87). There was a nonsignificant decrease in preventable ADEs with rudimentary clinical decision support (9.1/100 vs 6.4/100 admissions; P = 0.22). However, substantial reduction was seen with advanced clinical decision support (12.4/100 vs 0/100 admissions; P = 0.01). Despite these benefits, a significant increase in potential ADEs was found for all systems (55.5/100 vs 136.8/100 admissions; P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Vendor-developed CPOE with advanced clinical decision support can reduce the occurrence of preventable ADEs but may be associated with an increase in potential ADEs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / diagnosis
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization* / trends
  • Hospitals, Community / standards*
  • Hospitals, Community / trends
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Medical Order Entry Systems / standards*
  • Medical Order Entry Systems / trends
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcotics / adverse effects
  • Renal Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Renal Insufficiency / drug therapy*
  • Renal Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Narcotics