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Is a separate order really necessary for every procedure necessitating an IV even though there are physician orders?



Dear Nancy,

The Joint Commission came through our facility, and the surveyor requested that we supply a written order from the physician for every procedure that necessitates an IV. These are outpatient procedures in which the physician orders the procedure and writes specific orders for it. We can not implement the procedure without an IV. Is a separate order really necessary?


Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Phillip,

The answer to your question is probably pretty clear. If the Commission says an order for an IV is required, then it is necessary. Without the Commission’s accreditation and/or certification, an outpatient facility is not as attractive to consumers of healthcare that know that an accredited/certified facility is the best option for quality patient care. Working as a nurse in a non-accredited, non-certified facility also is not attractive to most nurses.

You can learn more about the Commission ( The home page has a wealth of information for your review, including Accreditation, Certification and Standards tabs with drop-down menus of topics under each tab. There also is a search bar to obtain more specific information about the particular question you have about your facility.

Also available on the home page in the lower right-hand corner is a box titled Most Popular. Click on Joint Commission Requirements and you can obtain requirements for your particular facility from the list on the left side of the page. In the Most Popular feature, review About Our Standards, which you also would be of interest to you.

You also might want to talk to your CNO and risk manager about the importance of following through with the Commission’s recommendations.



About Author

Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.

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