Scanning paper forms to convert marks in checkboxes, text printed in block form, and barcodes into machine readable text is nothing new. The functionality of the technology -- flatbed scanners, software, and OMR programs -- hasn't evolved significantly in the past decade. However, the cost of the scanners and the PCs needed to run OMR software has decreased significantly in that time.
There are reasons why OMR technology isn't universally employed to create a minimal CPOE. The most significant limitation is that there is no immediate feedback for the ordering physician. An all-electronic system, in contrast, can be designed with an integrated decision support system. However, in many cases these limitations may be acceptable, given the advantages of having the orders automatically entered into the hospital computer system.
I've used Remark's OMR software for about 7 years at Mass General Hospital, Boston. Coupled with a modest HP scanner with sheet feeder, a secretary can use the system to process several dozen forms in the course of 10 minutes. Furthermore, very little hand-holding is required. Once the software is loaded, a stack of papers is fed into the scanner and the software takes over from there. The only minor disruption is not being able to use the PC while forms are being processed.