Implementing computerized physician order entry: The importance of special people

Joan S. Ash, P. Zoë Stavri, Richard Dykstra, Lara Fournier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Objective: To articulate important lessons learned during a study to identify success factors for implementing computerized physician order entry (CPOE) in inpatient and outpatient settings. Design: Qualitative study by a multidisciplinary team using data from observation, focus groups, and both formal and informal interviews. Data were analyzed using a grounded approach to develop a taxonomy of patterns and themes from the transcripts and field notes. Results: The theme we call Special People is explored here in detail. A taxonomy of types of Special People includes administrative leaders, clinical leaders (champions, opinion leaders, and curmudgeons), and bridgers or support staff who interface directly with users. Conclusion: The recognition and nurturing of Special People should be among the highest priorities of those implementing computerized physician order entry. Their education and training must be a goal of teaching programs in health administration and medical informatics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-250
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropology, cultural
  • Computerized
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Medical records systems
  • Point-of-care systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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