A physician champion is the primary liaison between the physicians and the IT staff. He is responsible for the encouraging physicians to be compliant and passionate users of CPOE
A physian champion is an MD who is respected by other physicians and is the recognized clinical leader in the organization. His interpersonal skills and rasp of the principles of organizational behavior and change management grants him decision-making authority . He is comfortable with health-related IT issues, but an advanced degree or specialized training is neither required nor necessarily desirable (in some cases it is a negative if the physician champion is viewed as “too tech-y”).
In larger organizations, the Chief Medical Information Officer may play the role of physician champion and may be chair of the CPOE physician advisory committee. However, the role does not have to be a formal one and in smaller implementations several community-based physicians may serve as champions.
The physician champion should be involved in all steps of a CPOE rollout, including the planning phase and organizational readiness assessment. This includes the assessment of existing workflows and the ability to define and measure the desired change that CPOE will bring. The physician champion must be involved in the training process as well (3) , even though he/she will not be the primary trainer of other physicians. Note that the roles of physician champion and super-user are distinct, with nurses often serving in the latter role in a more direct, supervisory capacity onsite.
He/she must be able to continuously prove to skeptical physicians the benefits of CPOE on patient safety and quality of care despite the inevitable concerns about the impact on workflow and productivity (4). Physician resistance is one of the primary reasons why CPOE implementations fail or are never attempted in the first place, and the physician champion is the person most responsible for counteracting negativity and medical staff intransigence. The physician champion must be an evangelist who passionately believes in the benefits that CPOE implementation will bring (5). He/she needs to seek out physician input and incorporate user experiences into decision-making. For example, the physician champion is the individual who brings back concerns about workflow impact or other usability issues from frontline physician staff to the IT staff and may have to convey the architectural limitations of the CPOE product to the medical staff.
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- O’Brien D. Managing Change: Computerized physician order entry. 2003 November 1. Physician Executive. 
- Roop E. Creative CPOE thinking. For The Record 2007. 19:12. 
- Poon E et al. Overcoming barriers to adopting and implementing computerized physician order entry systems in U.S. hospitals. Health Affairs 2004. 23:184-90. 
- First Consulting Group. Computerized physician order entry: Costs, benefits, and challenges. 2003 January.