Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) is a process of electronic entry of medical practitioner instructions for the treatment of patients under the physician’s care. Physicians use CPOE to increase efficiency and reduce errors by submitting orders in the EHR.
Only physicians can pend, or enter, orders into the EHR—and a nurse, certified medical assistant (MA) or other non-credentialed staff can't pend or send orders in the EHR as requested by the physician.
Debunking the myth
All members of the care team (PDF), including nurses, credentialed medical assistants (MAs), or non-credentialed staff members can enter orders in the EHR, as requested by the physician.1 Additionally, there is no Medicare EHR incentive program that requires CPOE. Clinical and clerical staff can pend or send orders per the physician’s instruction (i.e. as conveyed verbally or through written checklist), as long as this is consistent with state and institutional policies.
New guidance was issued from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in 2017.
“In the 2017 OPPS rule, we finalized the elimination of the CPOE and CDS objectives and associated measures for eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). The elimination of the CPOE and CDS objectives and associated measures also applies to dual-eligible hospitals that are attesting to CMS for both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
Please also note we did not include CPOE and CDS objectives and associated measures as part of the advancing care information performance category, thus, they are not required for reporting by MIPS eligible clinicians.”2
CPOE objectives remain in the Medicaid EHR Incentive program (PDF). Within this program, “any licensed health care provider or a medical staff person who is a credentialed medical assistant or is credentialed to and performs the duties equivalent to a credentialed medical assistant (PDF) can enter orders in the medical record, per state, local and professional guidelines.”3
Debunking Regulatory Myths overview
Visit the overview page for information on additional myths.