A prescription () is a health-care program implemented by a physician or other qualified practitioner in the form of instructions that govern the plan of care for an individual patient. A qualified practitioner might be a physician, Physician Assistant, dentist, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, psychologist, or other health care providers. Prescriptions may include orders to be performed by a patient, caretaker, nurse, pharmacist, physician, other therapist, or by automated equipment, such as an intravenous infusion pump. Formerly, prescriptions often included detailed instructions regarding compounding of medications but as medications have increasingly become pre-packaged manufactured products, the term “prescription” now usually refers to an order that a pharmacist dispense and that a patient take certain medications. Prescriptions have legal implications, as they may indicate that the prescriber takes responsibility for the clinical care of the patient and in particular for monitoring efficacy and safety. As medical practice has become increasingly complex, the scope of meaning of the term “prescription” has broadened to also include clinical assessments, laboratory tests, and imaging studies relevant to optimizing the safety or efficacy of medical treatment.