What to look for in paperless pharmacy order management systems

August 22, 2005

Hospitals are seeing the advent of a new generation of systems in the context of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) that are more user-friendly and yield a quicker return on investment (ROI). Several products have evolved in the marketplace. These products are called Paperless Pharmacy Order Systems (PPOSs). They provide a paperless environment in pharmacy and a work-flow engine between pharmacists and clinicians.

Hospitals are seeing the advent of a new generation of systems in the context of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) that are more user-friendly and yield a quicker return on investment (ROI). Several products have evolved in the marketplace. These products are called Paperless Pharmacy Order Systems (PPOSs). They provide a paperless environment in pharmacy and a work-flow engine between pharmacists and clinicians.

A PPOS product is designed to reduce the amount of paper flowing around a pharmacy, thereby improving patient safety and operational efficiency. Nurses either scan or fax a physician order into a PPOS server. PPOSs use sophisticated image capture and work-flow software to radically improve order tracking, order storing, and order retrieval. PPOSs automatically lift information from the order image to facilitate patient identification and assess the order's priority. Knowing patient location and priority allows automatic routing of the order to the appropriate pharmacists.

The relational database management system in PPOSs maintains a detailed audit trail for regulators of who has had access to an order. PPOSs smooth out many of the current roadblocks handwritten orders face between pharmacy and nursing. PPOSs streamline, automate, and decentralize much of order processing and support more effective communication between the pharmacy, nurses, and doctors inside and outside their four walls. With PPOSs, hospitals become smoother running operations and can offer better patient care.

Checklist of features

What are the features one should look for in PPOS products?