Implementation guide for interoperable medicines

This guidance is under active development by NHS England and content may be added or updated on a regular basis.

Element: patientInstruction

FHIR defines as "Instructions in terms that are understood by the patient or consumer".

It is good practice that this element contains the complete dosage instruction as a text string, in terms that are understood by the patient or consumer. This includes those prescriptions that the patient may not see or will not self administer, for example, during inpatient care.

There may be occurrences when dosage instructions are designed to be administered only by a healthcare professionals (e.g. IV dosage). In these instances the patientInstruction may be omitted.

It would be expected that in many cases patientInstruction will contain the same dose string as text. The benefit of this element is when different dosage phrasing is required for the clinician and the patient.

<patientInstruction value="2 tablet - 4 times a day - at a meal - Dissolve or mix with water before taking - up to a maximum of 12 tablets in 24 hours"/>

If omitted, patient-facing use cases should present the string representation of the completed dosage as defined within text.

Note: The patientInstruction element is not intended to provide instructions for a medication dispensing label.

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