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Signing prescriptions with “as per…”-

I’m an RN working in a family physician’s office. The other day, Dr. Smith asked me to write a new prescription for a client on her behalf because she was busy with another client. She instructed me to write the prescription and sign my name followed by, “as per Dr. Smith.” Can I do this?    

No, you cannot sign the prescription as the physician requested. Even if you write “as per Dr. Smith,” signing your name would mean you authorized the prescription. RNs and RPNs do not have the authority to do this.

Since Dr. Smith was physically present in the office to instruct you, the safest practice would be for her to personally write and sign the prescription. Then, you could either give the prescription to the client or fax it to the client’s pharmacy through a secure fax line.

Furthermore, Dr. Smith’s instruction is a verbal order which is not appropriate in this situation. Verbal orders are only allowed in emergency situations or when the prescriber is unable to document the order. (For more information on verbal orders, read the Authorizing Mechanisms practice standard.)

For more information, read the Decisions About Procedures and Authority practice standard.

Page last reviewed August 11, 2017