(A) Definition of "patient orders".
- A patient order(s) is a prescription for care or treatment of patients. An order can be given verbally, electronically or in writing to qualified personnel identified by category in paragraph (C) of this rule and shall be authenticated by the licensed medical practitioner, a member of the limited staff, or another licensed healthcare professional with appropriate clinical privileges. Patient orders may be given initially, renewed, discontinued or cancelled. Throughout these rules and regulations, the word "written" and its grammatical derivatives, as used to describe a nonverbal order, refer to both written and electronically entered orders.
- Electronic orders are equivalent and have the same authority as written orders. Electronic orders have been expressly structured to mirror these rules and regulations and all policy guidelines adopted by the medical staff and hospital administration.
(B) Responsible medical practitioner.
All patient care is the responsibility of the attending, associate attending, clinical attending, or community associate attending staff. Coverage may be provided by the limited staff or another licensed healthcare professional with appropriate clinical privileges under supervision. The licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, or psychologist (under medical doctor supervision) with appropriate clinical privileges responsible for the hospitalization or outpatient care, and treatment of the patient is responsible for all orders for the patient. Attending, associate attending and clinical medical staff may designate members of the limited staff, or other licensed healthcare professionals with appropriate clinical privileges to write or electronically enter orders under their direction. The attending staff member may also designate members of the pre-M.D. medical student group to write or electronically enter orders, but in all cases these orders shall be signed by the physician, dentist, psychologist, podiatrist, or designated limited staff member who has the right to practice medicine, dentistry, psychology, or podiatry and who is responsible for that patient's care prior to the execution of the order. Supervising physicians may delegate to a medical staff member (who is appropriately credentialed) the ability to relay, enter, transcribe or write orders for routine laboratory, radiologic and diagnostic studies under their direction, but, in all cases, the order shall be co-signed by the supervising physician within twenty-four hours of the order being written. Community associate staff coverage may be provided by the limited staff under supervision.
(C) Telephone and verbal orders may be given by the responsible attending physician, dentist, podiatrist, psychologist, member of the limited medical staff, or other licensed healthcare professionals with appropriate clinical privileges only to health care providers who have been approved in writing by title or category by the director of medical affairs and each chief of the clinical service where they will exercise clinical privileges, and only where said health care provider is exercising responsibilities which have been approved and delineated by job description for employees of the hospital, or by the customary medical staff credentialing process when the provider is not an employee of the hospital. Lists of the approved titles or categories of providers shall be maintained by the director of medical affairs. Verbal orders should be utilized infrequently. The individual giving the verbal or telephone order must verify the complete order by having the person receiving the information record and "read back" the complete order to assure the quality and safety of patient care. The job description or delineated privileges for each provider must indicate each provider's authority to receive telephone or verbal orders, including but not limited to the authority to receive orders for medications. The order is to be recorded and authenticated by approved health care provider to whom it is given as "verbal order by ________," or "V.O. or T.O. by ________," giving the licensed healthcare practitioner's name and the time of the order, followed by the approved health care provider's signature and date, and read back in its entirety to the ordering physician, dentist, psychologist, podiatrist, designated limited staff member, or other licensed healthcare professionals with appropriate clinical privileges. All verbal orders for DEA schedule II controlled substances, patient seclusion, or patient restraint must be authenticated within twenty-four hours by signature of a licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, psychologist, or designated limited staff member or other licensed healthcare professionals with appropriate clinical privileges. Verbal orders for directives of urgent issues that cannot be addressed by the prescriber's order entry are encouraged to be signed electronically within forty-eight hours, but must be authenticated within twenty-one days by signature by a licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, psychologist, limited staff member, or other licensed healthcare professionals with appropriate clinical privileges.
(D) Standing orders.
Standing orders for medications are only approved in emergency situations. All other standing orders must be developed, approved, used and monitored in strict compliance with the standing orders medical staff policy approved by the medical staff administrative committee and hospital administration.
(E) Preprinted orders.
Preprinted order forms for patients must be reviewed, dated, timed and signed by a responsible medical practitioner, a limited staff member, or other licensed healthcare professionals with appropriate clinical privileges before becoming effective.
(F) Investigational drug orders.
Evidence of informed patient consent must be available to a nurse or pharmacist before an investigational agent is ordered and administered. Investigational drugs may be ordered only upon authorization of the principal or co-investigator or other delegated physician, dentist, or podiatrist named in FDA forms 1572 or 1573. Registered nurses or pharmacists who are knowledgeable about the investigational agents may administer the drugs to patients.
(G) Change of nursing service.
Level of care is defined as the type and frequency of medical and nursing interventions required to appropriately manage the medical and nursing care requirements of the patient. "Change of level of care" means official and physical movement (transfer) of a patient from an inpatient or observation care unit providing one level of care to another providing a different level of care, with or without change in attending physician, dentist, psychologist or podiatrist or clinical service. Orders effective before transfer must be reviewed, renewed or rewritten upon transfer by signature of a responsible medical practitioner. The new or renewed orders may be written or electronically entered before or when the patient arrives on the receiving unit and may become effective immediately.
In each case of "change of nursing service," it is the responsibility of the receiving nurse to establish the availability of renewed or new written or electronically entered orders. Prior orders will remain in effect until new orders are available. This should be done within eight hours of transfer.
(H) "Transfer of clinical service" means transfer of full patient responsibility from one attending physician, dentist, psychologist or podiatrist to another; the patient may remain on the same unit or a change in patient care area may also occur. Admission of a patient from an emergency service to the hospital as an inpatient involves "transfer of clinical service."
For the purposes of order writing or electronically entering orders, two essentials of "transfer of clinical service" are necessary:
- The initial transfer order must indicate the release of responsibility and control of the patient, pending acceptance by the receiving service. The order may read "transfer (or admit) to Dr., head and neck service."
- Transfer of service may be completed only by the receiving service writing an order to the effect "accept in transfer (or admission) to Dr., head and neck service."
Orders effective before the transfer must be renewed or rewritten upon transfer by signature of a responsible medical practitioner, a limited staff member, or other licensed healthcare professionals with appropriate clinical privileges. The new or renewed orders may be written or electronically entered before or at the time of transfer, and may become effective immediately. It is the responsibility of the receiving nurse to establish the availability of new or renewed orders. If new orders are unavailable, then the nurse may continue previous orders and immediately notify the responsible medical practitioner, a limited staff member, or other licensed healthcare professionals with appropriate clinical privileges.
(I) Patient orders and the "covering" medical practitioner.
"Coverage" of patient responsibilities for another physician, dentist or podiatrist for a brief period of time does not constitute or require "transfer of clinical service" unless so desired and agreed upon by the physician, dentist, or podiatrist and patient.
(J) Hospital discharge/readmission orders.
Hospital discharge from standard inpatient units or day care unit to outpatient status requires appropriate discharge orders. Readmission to any inpatient unit requires new, rewritten/reentered or renewed orders by signature of the responsible medical practitioner, limited staff member, or other licensed healthcare professional with appropriate privileges and under the supervision of the responsible medical staff member.
(K) Do not resuscitate orders.
The order for do not resuscitate indicating that the patient should not undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation may be written only by the attending physician or his delegate. Verbal orders for do not resuscitate will not be accepted under any circumstances. The order for do not resuscitate may be rescinded only by the attending physician or delegate and an order must be written to annul said order. Please refer to hospital policy 03-24 do not resuscitate orders for further details.
(L) Hospital admission/observation orders.
Hospital admission/observation requires an appropriate level of care (ALOC) order designating the patient as inpatient or outpatient (observation). The appropriate level of care (ALOC) order may be written a signed by the attending physician. If the ALOC order for inpatient admission is written by a member of the limited staff or other licensed healthcare practitioner with appropriate clinical privilege, it must be co-signed by the attending physician prior to the patient being discharged from the hospital. Admission to any inpatient unit or placing a patient in observation status requires new, rewritten/reentered or renewed orders by the responsible medical practitioner or limited staff member or other licensed healthcare professional with appropriate privileges and under the supervision of the responsible medical staff member.
(Board approval dates: 4/6/2016, 9/2/2016)