New HIMSS CPOE Wiki Illustrates Complexity

Today, I got an email about the new HIMSS CPOE wiki that was just launched. I barely want to link to it since it makes me laugh. Plus, it’s not a true wiki since only members that have been approved can edit the wiki. It’s not open like the EMR and HIPAA wiki and other real wiki pages. That said, if you still want to take a look, here’s the link.

To be honest, I haven’t looked through much of the information on the wiki. First, because I was turned off by my inability to be able to edit the wiki if I saw fit. Second, because I saw this diagram on the main page which completely turned me off to it.

Here’s the diagram (click on it to see the full size image):

My blood pressure starts to rise just looking at the diagram. The number of lines that cross over with arrows going every which way is hard to follow. There are two starting points and no clear end point. It’s amazing the complexity they’ve put into what should be a clear diagram that tells a simple story. I should mention that the diagram is suppose to be the navigation diagram for the wiki, but it seems like their plan was for the navigation to be a model for someone going through the steps of a CPOE implementation.

Is there any wonder why CPOE hasn’t been implemented? Although, I can’t help but wonder if CPOE is this complex to implement or whether the people creating the diagram are what made the CPOE implementation so complex.

Maybe I should ask some of the CPOE workgroup members. After all, there names and emails are available to anyone on this page of the wiki.

I would have commented on the wiki itself since it says it has the capability for commenting. Only problem is that it says, “You don’t have permission to comment on this page.” Oh well, at least I have a blog where I can comment.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Wow, I feel like you have to have Phd to just decipher this 🙂 John, I think someone is making the CPOE much more complicated than it should be. Maybe large organizations need something like this but even I am little confused by this. Totally agree regarding this not being a true wiki.

  • I’m sorry if the diagram turned you off. I think if you try drilling into either the stages of implementation or the building blocks you would’ve found that the information that we have here is helpful for those are planning to implement CPOE. It is true that CPOE in a hospital is a complex process, and to pull it off correctly requires planning communication and involvement by all staff. If it were easy everyone would be doing it.

    If you wish to participate in the wiki by adding content, a click in the upper right-hand corner where it says “To join this workspace.” By doing that you’ll be able to leave comments on any of the pages and any content you submit we will Incorporated to the wiki. At this point, in its early stages, we wish to retain editorial control over the body of the wiki.

    In the clinic CPOE is not nearly as complicated but in a large hospital and even a small critical access hospital well executed CPOE is not easy. Entering the order into the computer is easy but making sure it goes to the right person at the right place in the right manner requires planning and building at any facility before it is turned on. Remember, people’s lives are at stake.


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