CHART SMART: Clarifying a medication order

May 2003 
Volume 33  Number 5
Pages 26 - 26
  PDF Version Available!


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  • WHEN YOU CALL a prescriber to clarify a medication order, you'll need to document your conversation and any order changes to verify your actions in case of a future legal challenge.

    Before calling the prescriber, consult with the pharmacist and review the medication in a current drug text. That way, you'll have the information you need if follow-up and further clarification are needed.

    When you call the prescriber, follow your facility's policy on telephone orders. Some facilities require at least one witness to hear the conversation and co-sign any phone orders. If this is your situation, have your witness ready when you make the call. Try to call after 6 a.m. and before 10 p.m., if possible. As a patient advocate, you shouldn't apologize for your important call, but keep the conversation succinct.

    Suppose a prescriber orders 4,000 mg of I.V. ciprofloxacin to be given to a patient every ...

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