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Applying the standards for giving client-specific orders

Part 2: Scope of practice standards

Applying the standards for giving client-specific orders

  • When you are giving a client-specific order, you may incorporate information from other health professionals as part of your assessment. For example, if another health care professional provides information about the client’s vital signs, you may use that information to inform your assessment.
  • When you give a client-specific order, you are not accountable or responsible for ensuring that the health professional(s) carrying out the client-specific order are:
    • working within their scope of practice
    • competent to perform the activity
  • Before giving a client-specific  order consider the elements that would make the order specific, clear and complete such as:
    •  the duration if there are time limits to the ordered activity (e.g. for 7 days)
    • the frequency of care – how often the care needs to take place
    •  the conditions (e.g. client condition, lab result) that need to exist to carry out the client-specific order
  • When you are giving a client-specific order improve client safety by following your organization’s policy on the use of abbreviations.
  • Before giving a client-specific order, ensure that policies, procedures and communication methods are in place to maintain continuity of care, answer questions about the client-specific orders when you are not available and evaluate the client’s response to the care. For example, this may include communicating to a colleague at shift change about any revisions to client-specific orders and communicating to other health professionals who can respond to questions about the client-specific order in your absence.
  • Except in an emergency, such as a cardiac arrest, avoid verbal client-specific orders when you are working in the same location of care as the health professional receiving the client-specific order.
  • In some cases the best option for the client is for a client-specific order to be given by telehealth. In this case, increase client safety by following organizational policy, procedures and restrictions, and the Telehealth Practice Standard.

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