When a doc refuses to co-sign verbal orders

  1. We had a physician who refused to cosign a verbal order taken on night shift. This MD absolutely gave the verbal order, but since a bad outcome happened, he claimed "I never ordered that" the next day. What is the legal ramification for nurses? He gave the order, and now doesn't want to take responsibility for it.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   cvicugirl
    I would definitely let your nurse manager know about this, and make sure that your documentation is complete. Management should follow up with the doc and/or involve risk management. But as far as I know, the doc does not need to sign his verbal order to make it "legal," the fact that you took the vo and documented it as such makes it legal. Was the doc an intern or a resident? (legally, doesn't matter--just sounds like a pretty juvenile thing to do...)
  4. by   sunshineCCRN
    Quote from cvicugirl
    I would definitely let your nurse manager know about this, and make sure that your documentation is complete.
    it wasn't me, so i don't know all the facts, but yes, half the hospital administration was involved. thanks for your post, i feel a little better if i ever have to take one of his patients again.

    (legally, doesn't matter--just sounds like a pretty juvenile thing to do...)

    this doc (an attending) is, uh, well-known for sometimes being exactly that.
  5. by   cardiacRN2006
    This just happened to us the other month.


    What did we do? We instantly refused to accept all verbal orders. A different doctor was called and updated on the pt, and signed the order for that perticular med.

    It was an ugly period of time, but I think that they learned that's it's in their best interest to sign the orders.

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