Standing Orders

Standing orders and protocols allow patient care to be shared among non-clinician members of the care team, like medical assistants and nurses. Standing orders are often based on national clinical guidelines, but practices may customize those guidelines based on their own patient population or care environment.

Standing orders might empower:

  • Medical assistants to identify people due for colorectal cancer screening and provide them with a home testing kit before their medical visit; or
  • Registered nurses to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections or titrate chronic disease medications with very clear, evidence-based guidelines.


Standing orders enable all members of the care team to function to their fullest capacity.

In order to be effective, standing orders must be approved by the clinical leadership. Staff members must be trained in our how to use the standing order and must be supervised, so that someone can check to be sure that they are doing it properly. Other staff should also learn about the standing orders, so that they can support the new roles. For example, front desk staff may schedule new kinds of appointments, and clinicians need to know and buy in to the new roles.

To view some sample standing orders, please click on the PDF icons below: 


If you are interested in having CEPC train your organization, please contact us at cepc@fcm.ucsf.edu.

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