Types of Unintended Consequences Related to Computerized Provider Order Entry

Emily M. Campbell, Dean F. Sittig, Joan S. Ash, Kenneth P. Guappone, Richard H. Dykstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

652 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify types of clinical unintended adverse consequences resulting from computerized provider order entry (CPOE) implementation. Design: An expert panel provided initial examples of adverse unintended consequences of CPOE. The authors, using qualitative methods, gathered and analyzed additional examples from five successful CPOE sites. Methods: Using a card sort method, the authors developed a categorization scheme for the 79 unintended consequences initially identified and then iteratively modified the scheme to categorize 245 additional adverse consequences resulting from fieldwork. Because the focus centered on consequences requiring prevention or remedial action, the authors did not further analyze reported unintended beneficial (positive) consequences. Results: Unintended adverse consequences (UACs) fell into nine major categories (in order of decreasing frequency): 1) more/new work for clinicians; 2) unfavorable workflow issues; 3) never ending system demands; 4) problems related to paper persistence; 5) untoward changes in communication patterns and practices; 6) negative emotions; 7) generation of new kinds of errors; 8) unexpected changes in the power structure; and 9) overdependence on the technology. Clinical decision support features introduced many of these unintended consequences. Conclusion: Identifying and understanding the types and in some instances the causes of unintended adverse consequences associated with CPOE will enable system developers and implementers to better manage implementation and maintenance of future CPOE projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Types of Unintended Consequences Related to Computerized Provider Order Entry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this