Technology initiatives

Technology initiatives to improve patient care quality and safety at Duke include:

Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is an electronic system, available at Duke University Hospital and Duke Regional Hospital, which replaces handwritten physician orders with electronic orders to improve order accuracy. It also provides important medication-prescribing information and standardized order sets for specific medical conditions.

Direct electronic communications alert necessary departments about a patient's needs, including scheduling requirements, medical issues, or potential anesthesia complications. For example, through the direct electronic communication in the preoperative screening unit at Duke University Hospital, important patient information can be communicated quickly to patient care team.  

Electronic medical records (EMR) comprise a computer-based system that doctors and nurses use to access patient medical histories, manage prescriptions, order diagnostic tests, and view report results.

Electronic tracking of patient follow-up ensures that patients are receiving news of lab results and medical tests in a timely fashion. Also, the electronic system can be used by trained clinical staff, freeing the doctors to see more patients.

Duke MyChart patient portal is an online tool that allows patients to view lab results and appointment and account information, as well as pay bills. Patients can create online accounts at

OR View is an electronic database application used by the Department of Surgery at Duke University Hospital to document activities related to surgery such as surgery case scheduling, tracking of patient readiness for surgery, and recording patient assessments during the post-operative period.

Performance Services Web site presents all of the performance reports, scorecards, and trend graphs to staff on one easily accessible, yet secure, Web site. Being able to view a variety of performance metrics in one place shows administrators and managers where they need to focus their quality improvement initiatives.

Risk and Safety Management Alert System (RASMAS), a Web-based subscription service that provides comprehensive notification of product alerts and supports distribution and management of the health system’s response to the alerts.

Updating the taxonomy of their Safety Reporting System (SRS) to match the terms in the World Health Organization’s International Classification for Patient Safety (ICPS) allows clear mapping between the two systems. Having similar taxonomies and ways of tracking safety events allows Duke to better understand what factors are causing safety events to be reported, and, with that knowledge, what can be done to ensure these events happen less frequently.