Spotlight on Safety: Medication Orders

Monday, April 17, 2006 at 11:39:26 AM

As part of the National Patient Safety Initiatives from JCAHO and others, medication orders are required to be complete. PRN orders must include the rationale or indication for use. Multiple PRN orders for the same indication need to contain parameters that specify when each individual order is to be acted upon. Range orders are not acceptable; orders cannot contain unapproved abbreviations; and all orders must be dated and timed when written. Blanket orders with general prescribing information arenít valid.

Effective May 1, patient orders not in compliance with these initiatives wonít be processed, and providers will be contacted to clarify. Medical Staff is asked to pay special attention when writing orders, and to assist Nursing, Pharmacy and other ancillary staff if they call you to clarify.

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