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Appendix II

Priority for Handling Physicians’ Orders

The following definitions have been developed to provide a more efficient distribution of patients’ medications in order of their clinical priority.

STAT Orders:  This is the top priority order.  This order implies an emergency or pre-emergency situation and must be carried out immediately.  These orders take priority over all other orders or activities.  STAT orders must always be hand-delivered or transported via the pneumatic tube.


1.  Epinephrine: 1:10,000 10 cc IV STAT

2.  Protamine Sulfate 50 mg IV STAT

3.  Any medication needed in a potentially life- threatening clinical situation.

4.  NOTE: Laxatives, suppositories, vitamins, and extended action preparations are never STAT medications.

NOW Orders:  This order is second only to stat orders in terms of priority. It does not indicate the emergency or life-threatening status which the stat order implies.  These orders should always be hand-delivered or transported via the pneumatic tube and are handled immediately after stat orders.


1.  Cefazolin 2 gm IV now and 1 gm every 8 hours

2.  Kayexalate enema (standard) Now and repeat in 2 hrs.

3.  Any medications requiring immediate administration in non-emergency clinical                             


4.  NOTE:  Laxatives, vitamins and refill orders are never Now orders.

ASAP Orders:  This order follows both the STAT and Now orders in priority, but it would take precedence over all routine and refill orders. ASAP (or as-soon-as-possible) orders should be faxed or sent via the pneumatic tube.


1.  Clonidine 0.2mg po every 6 hours ASAP.

2.  Any medication order which must be administered within the next two hours.

3.  NOTE:  Refill orders should never be ASAP as they should be obtained far before                        

    the next dose is due.

Routine Orders:  All orders not classified above have routine status.  These orders will be handled after STAT, NOW and ASAP orders are filled.  Routine orders should be sent via fax. All refill orders and most new orders which can be delayed for transport should be classified as routine.

March 17, 2009

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