Background: With advancements in information technology, computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and electronic Medical Records (eMR), have become widely utilized in medical settings. The predominant mode of CPOE in Taiwan is free text entry (FTE). Dynamic structured data entry (DSDE) was introduced more recently, and has increasingly drawn attention from hospitals across Taiwan. This study assesses how DSDE compares to FTE for CPOE. Methods: A quasi-experimental study was employed to investigate the time-savings, productivity, and efficiency effects of DSDE in an outpatient setting in the gynecological department of a major hospital in Taiwan. Trained female actor patients were employed in trials of both entry methods. Data were submitted to Shapiro-Wilk and Shapiro-Francia tests to assess normality, and then to paired t-tests to assess differences between DSDE and FTE. Results: Relative to FTE, the use of DSDE resulted in an average of 97% time saved and 55% more abundant and detailed content in medical records. In addition, for each clause entry in a medical record, the time saved is 133% for DSDE compared to FTE. Conclusion: The results suggest that DSDE is a much more efficient and productive entry method for clinicians in hospital outpatient settings. Upgrading eMR systems to the DSDE format would benefit both patients and clinicians.
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