Around the Clock (ATC) order: An order that reflects that medication should be administered at regular time intervals, such as every six hours, to maintain consistent levels of the drug in the patient’s bloodstream.
Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing.
eMAR: Electronic medication administration record contained in a patient’s electronic chart.
Enteral medications: Medications that are administered directly into the gastrointestinal tract orally, rectally, or through a tube such as a nasogastric (NG) tube, nasointestinal (NI) tube, or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube.
Incident report: A report submitted per agency policy used to document the events surrounding a medication error.
MAR: Medication administration record contained in a patient’s chart.
One-time order: A prescription for a medication to be administered only once. An example of a one-time order is a prescription for an IV dose of antibiotics to be administered immediately prior to surgery.
Prescriptions: Orders, interventions, remedies, or treatments ordered or directed by an authorized primary health care provider.
PRN order: A prescription for medication to be administered when it is requested by, or as needed by, the patient. PRN orders are usually administered based on patient symptoms such as pain medications. An example of a PRN order is a prescription for pain medication, such as “Acetaminophen 500 mg PO every 4-6 hours as needed for pain.”
Routine order: A written prescription that is followed until another order cancels it. An example of a routine order is a prescription for daily medication such as “Lisinopril 10 mg PO daily.”
Safety culture: A culture established in health care agencies to empower staff to speak up about risks to patients and to report errors and near misses, all of which drive improvement in patient care and reduce the incident of patient harm.
Standing order: Standing orders are standard prescriptions for nurses to implement for patients in clearly defined circumstances without the need to notify a provider. They may also be referred to as an “order set” or a “protocol.” An example of a standing order/protocol is a standard prescription for all patients coming into an urgent care reporting chest pain to immediately receive four chewable aspirin, the placement of an IV, and an electrocardiogram (ECG).
STAT order: A one-time prescription that is administered without delay. An example of a STAT order is the prescription for a dose of Benadryl to be administered to a patient having an allergic reaction.
Titration order: An order in which the medication dose is either progressively increased or decreased by the nurse in response to the patient’s status.