Who can enter orders via CPOE?

Thanks to CHIME for this Clarification on CPOE.

As part of Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements for CPOE, there is continuing confusion around who is authorized to enter information in the EHR in order to qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Is the physician the only person who can enter such information? CMS clarified its earlier answer (Updated 08/17/2010, Answer ID 10071) as follows:

“Any licensed healthcare professional can enter orders into the medical record for purposes of including the order in the numerator for the objective of CPOE if they can originate the order per state, local, and professional guidelines. The order must be entered by someone who could exercise clinical judgment in the case that the entry generates any alerts about possible interactions or other clinical decision support aides. This necessitates that the CPOE occurs when the order first becomes part of the patient’s medical record and before any action can be taken on the order.”

The “provider” in CPOE means the person authorized to initiate in the medical record. Hence, if a physician or PA writes a written order he/she is the initiator and hence is the one who must use CPOE. A pharmacist or nurse who transcribes a written order into the system does not count. A pharmacist doing a clinical intervention or a nurse taking a verbal order might count, though the physician must countersign eventually.

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