I completely missed this one last month, but American Medical Informatics Association President and CEO Don Detmer, M.D., posted a thoughtful essay on the controversial March 9 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association that detailed the kinds of errors that a poorly implemented CPOE system could introduce.

Detmer also commented on a British Medical Journal piece on clinical decision support and highlighted an AMIA white paper on how decision support relates to e-prescribing.

“A careful reading of these articles provides us — the developers, purchasers, users, and advocates for these system — with a fresh perspective on how to evaluate our past efforts and frame our future work. Some readers can miss what may be the deeper message of the recent JAMA articles and editorial. As a result, they may reach the conclusion that once again the information technology in health care has been oversold and that there is no reason to attend to or invest in the current generation of information technology,” Detmer said.

He concluded, “While there is much work yet to be done, the optimism remains that the use of communications and information technology will greatly improve both care and human health. “