Shannon Loewy

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John Austin

Second Advisor

Dr. Alyce Dickinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Wayne Fuqua

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system on medication error. The study took place in a 343-bed hospital in the pediatrics inpatient unit. During baseline, participants placed medication orders in the same manner that they always had, handwriting them on a specific form and handing the form to the unit clerk who then faxed the order to the pharmacy. In the CPOE phase, participants used the computerized system to place orders, which were electronically sent to the pharmacy. The primary dependent variable was errors made during physician medication ordering, as recorded by pharmacy residents using a detailed check sheet. Several secondary dependent variables were also measured and reported. The CPOE system appeared to have some effect on the quality of patient care. The implementation of the system was associated with decreased variability and more order sets being completed 100% correctly. The order processing time was drastically reduced with the use of the CPOE system. The increase in orders completed 100% accurately, and the decrease in the length of time it takes for an order to reach the pharmacy could both make a significant impact on the quality of patient care.