Pulse Oximetry - Order by Physician/Licensed Independent Practitioner

Is a Physician/Licensed Independent Practitioner's order required for the use of a pulse oximeter?  

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

The Joint Commission standards do not require an order for pulse oximetry.  In addition, CMS does not have any requirements which prohibit the use of pulse oximetry without a physician’s order.

The use of pulse oximetry on a PRN basis may be viewed as a part of vital signs.  A therapist or nurse can use their clinical judgment to do an occasional pulse oximetry reading, and that would not need to be on the POC. However, if it is a regular part of their care, the nurse/therapist should put it on the POC/485.  For example, in the case of a patient with known cardiopulmonary disease when pulse oximetry is being used for ongoing monitoring this should be included on the patient’s plan of care.
Last updated on June 15, 2020
Manual: Home Care
Chapter: Provision of Care Treatment and Services PC

If no, please comment on how we could improve this response.

If you have additional standards-related questions regarding this topic, please use the Standards Online Submission Form