Back in the late 1990s, I worked as an internal medicine resident at a hospital on the West Coast. At that time, the hospital failed to successfully implement CPOE on the first try and did not re-attempt it again for another six months. Through that experience, I learned first-hand how technology without adequate clinical input and engagement can impede clinician adoption. I also discovered that trying to do the right thing for every patient during a time-constrained encounter can be challenging using an EHR without any standardized reminders, templates and checklists embedded into the clinical workflow. I had to rely on my typing skills (fast) and memory (sleep-deprived) to keep up and make good decisions (hopefully).
When I had the opportunity a few years later to build a COPD order set for what was then an emerging clinical decision support company, I jumped at the chance. This was exactly the type of decision support I wished I had access to back in those early days of CPOE. Fast forward 13 years, I am still working for that same company and have contributed to the evolution of EHR functionality and care guidance now available to inform the clinical decision-making process. I’ve also proudly witnessed the clinical, quality and financial improvements realized by over 2,000 healthcare organizations using our solutions – a level of impact that I, an individual physician, would never have been able to achieve.
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