May 30, 2024

Preparation and discussion of SOAP notes: Pharmacotherapeutics

Preparation and discussion of SOAP notes: Pharmacotherapeutics


What is SOAP note?

The Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan (SOAP) note is an acronym representing a widely used method of documentation for healthcare providers to write out notes in a patient’s chart, along with other common formats, such as the admission note

What are the components of a SOAP

The four components of a SOAP note are Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan

This widely adopted structural SOAP note was theorized by Larry Weed almost 50 years ago. It reminds clinicians of specific tasks while providing a framework for evaluating information. It also provides a cognitive framework for clinical reasoning. The SOAP note helps guide healthcare workers to use their clinical reasoning to assess, diagnose, and treat a patient based on the information provided by them. SOAP notes are an essential piece of information about the health status of the patient as well as a communication document between health professionals. The structure of the documentation is a checklist that serves as a cognitive aid and a potential index to retrieve information for learning from the record

Components of a SOAP


This is the first heading of the SOAP note. Documentation under this heading comes from the “subjective” experiences, personal views or feelings of a patient or someone close to them. In the inpatient setting, interim information is included here. This section provides context for the Assessment and Plan.

  1. Chief Complaint (CC)
  2. History of Present Illness (HPI)
  3. History
  4. Review of Systems (ROS)
  5. Current Medications, Allergies


This section documents the objective data from the patient encounter. This includes:

  • Vital signs
  • Physical exam findings
  • Laboratory data
  • Imaging results
  • Other diagnostic data
  • Recognition and review of the documentation of other clinicians.


This section documents the synthesis of “subjective” and “objective” evidence to arrive at a diagnosis. This is the assessment of the patient’s status through analysis of the problem, possible interaction of the problems, and changes in the status of the problems


This section details the need for additional testing and consultation with other clinicians to address the patient’s illnesses. It also addresses any additional steps being taken to treat the patient. This section helps future physicians understand what needs to be done next

  • State which testing is needed and the rationale for choosing each test to resolve diagnostic ambiguities; ideally what the next step would be if positive or negative
  • Therapy needed (medications)
  • Specialist referral(s) or consults
  • Patient education, counselling

Advantages of SOAP

 The major advantage of the SOAP documentation format is its widespread adaptation, which leads to general familiarity with the concept within the field of healthcare. It also provides clear and well-organised documentation of finding with a natural progression from the collection of relevant information to deciding guidelines for a plan on how to proceed with medical treatment.


Overuse of abbreviations and acronyms may lead to making some times difficulties for non-professionals it requires only a trained person.

The misplaced in the documentation of SOAP notes leads to make problems in clinical decision-making.

Do’s & Don’t SOAP Note

Be concise
Be specific
Write in the past tense
Make general statements
Use words like “seem” and “appear”


F Y D Pharm & S Y D Pharm Notes, Books, Syllabus, PDF, Videos

First Year D PharmSecond Year D Pharm
ER20-11T Pharmaceutics TheoryER20-21T Pharmacology Theory
ER20-11P Pharmaceutics PracticalER20-21P Pharmacology Practical
ER20-12T Pharmaceutical Chemistry TheoryER20-22T Community Pharmacy & Management Theory
ER20-12P Pharmaceutical Chemistry PracticalER20-22P Community Pharmacy & Management Practical
ER20-13T Pharmacognosy TheoryER20-23T Biochemistry & Clinical Pathology Theory
ER20-13P Pharmacognosy PracticalER20-23P Biochemistry & Clinical Pathology Practical
ER20-14T Human Anatomy Physiology TheoryER20-24T Pharmacotherapeutics Theory
ER2014P Human Anatomy Physiology PracticalER20-24P Pharmacotherapeutics Practical
ER20-15T Social Pharmacy TheoryER20-25T Hospital & Clinical Pharmacy Theory
ER20-15P Social Pharmacy PracticalER20-25P Hospital & Clinical Pharmacy Practical
ER20-26T Pharmacy Law & Ethics

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