Nursing tips: What does DAR charting mean?

One of the different ways in which a certified nursing assistant or a registered nurse charts the medical history of the patient admitted to the hospital for treatment is the DAR charting method.

Each and every institution has their own ways to record or document the medical history of the patient, depending up on the policy of the management and the specialized field in which they provide health related services.

Charting or documenting needs to be carried, irrespective of the type of charting, as it can be used as a legal instrument and proof of activities carried out, in case of litigation, at a later date.

The certified nursing assistant, in most cases, will be entrusted the responsibility of charting the medical history as per the instruction of the registered nurse and guided by the management policies.

What is DAR charting?

This is a type of charting, where the whole range of activities related to the patient have been broadly classified into three categories – Data, Action, and Response.

DAR charting differs from SOAP charting in many ways. In this type of charting the patient’s history, under the heading “Data”, the certified nursing assistant or the qualified nurse can include all significant observations related to the patient’s health. In other words, the subjective data provided by the patient and the objective data gathered by the nurse are not separated as such, and all are included under this broader “Data” heading.

Under the broad heading “Action” in this charting format, the nurse will have to document all the actions that have been carried out and also include the planned treatment or interventions due to take place.

The nurse should, in the last column, “Response” should document the reactions of the patient in response to the treatment.

DAR charting is adopted in some hospitals depending upon the level and usage of the patient’s history for treatment. The nurse should exercise great caution and care in documentation aspect.

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