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Computerized Prescriber Order Entry

Computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) systems reduce the risk of chemotherapy errors compared with paper-based systems. Systemic treatment (chemotherapy) is complex to manage; if the dosage is too low the patient will not get the benefits of the treatment; if the dosage is too high it may cause harm. 

ST CPOE: A CPOE for Chemotherapy

An estimated 30%–60% of Ontario cancer patients receive some form of chemotherapy.

Systemic Treatment (ST) CPOE is a computerized prescriber order entry system specific to systemic treatment (chemotherapy). It allows oncologists, pharmacists and nurses to manage the process of ordering, dispensing and administering chemotherapy drugs electronically.

Benefits: Safe, Secure, Accurate

  • Replace paper-based drug ordering with an electronic order, eliminating errors in transcription and in reading handwriting
  • Manage complex calculations associated with chemotherapy more securely than a manual system
  • Provide decision support tools that flag drug allergies, drug–drug interactions, or drug–disease interactions when medications are ordered
  • Help clinicians make the most appropriate clinical decisions at the point of care
  • Allow oncologists to generate electronically a complex series of drug orders
  • Allow pharmacists to verify orders and dispense drugs
  • Provide nurses with information needed to safely administer the drug

OPIS: Most widely used CPOE system in Ontario

We worked with clinicians to develop one of the first CPOE systems customized to the cancer setting, called OPIS. OPIS supports approximately 70% of chemotherapy visits in the province.

We continue to develop and improve OPIS, guided by the recently published Best Practice Guideline for ST CPOE systems.

Main types of ST CPOE systems used in Ontario

  • Stand-alone systems, such as OPIS
  • Ambulatory cancer electronic medical records systems, which include an ST CPOE component
  • Integrated hospital clinical system with a specialized chemotherapy module

Approximately 90% of chemotherapy visits are supported by an ST CPOE system. We are working with hospitals to eventually achieve 100% ST CPOE coverage.

Community of Practice supports all Ontario ST CPOE users

Our ST CPOE Community of Practice provides a forum for ST CPOE users and prospective users to share experiences and learn from each other about how to make the best use of these systems.

Related Initiatives

Also see

CCO eClaims – A web-based tool for submitting reimbursement claims to Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) for drugs covered under the New Drug Funding Program and the Evidence Building Program, which can be linked to an ST CPOE system

CCO Drug Formulary – Comprehensive information about chemotherapy drugs and regimens, accessible via the web, on a mobile app or through an ST CPOE system

Oncology Information Standards Project - Defining data standards and functional requirements for the use of regional cancer centres, and for vendors wishing to market Electronic Medical Record (EMR) products to them

Systemic Treatment CPOE Best Practice Guideline


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Last modified: Thu, Jun 26, 2014
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