Optimizing Standing Orders for Vaccines: The Role of MAs

Doug Opel, MD, MPH, FAAP

Many clinics already have standing orders for vaccines to reduce missed opportunities to vaccinate. Because the role of Medical Assistants (MAs) in implementing standing orders varies among practice these FAQs may be of interest:

Can an MA place a vaccine order in the EHR?

Yes. MAs can place a vaccine order in an EHR that is based on a standing order protocol for vaccines. It is advised that there be language in your standing order protocol to include delegation for the MA to enter the order in the EHR.  A health care practitioner will still need to sign the vaccine order, but it can be done after administration.

Can an MA place an order in the HER for a vaccine not included in the clinic’s standing order protocol?

No. An MA does not have prescriptive authority to order vaccines that aren’t a part of a standing order protocol, or any other medication.

Other questions? 

The Department of Health has put together a comprehensive webinar on standing order protocols for vaccines: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Immunization/ImmunizationNews/ImmunizationTraining/VaccineStandingOrdersWebinar.