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Focus Charting (F-DAR): How to do Focus Charting or F-DAR

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By Matt Vera BSN, R.N.


Focus Charting of F-DAR is intended to make the client and client concerns and strengths the focus of care. It is a method of organizing health information in an individual’s record. Focus Charting is a systematic approach to documentation.

Focus Charting Parts

Three columns are usually used in Focus Charting for documentation:

  • Date and Hour
  • Focus
  • Progress Notes

The progress notes are organized into (D) data, (A) action, and (R) response, referred to as DAR (third column).

Here is an example of a format of Focus Charting or F-DAR

Date/Hour Focus Progress Notes
Focus of care, this may be:a nursing diagnosis
a sign or a symptom
an acute change in the condition
  • Data
  • Action
  • Response

Progress Notes

Data (D)

The data category is like the assessment phase of the nursing process. It is in this category that you would be writing your assessment cues like: vital signs, behaviors, and other observations noticed from the patient. Both subjective and objective data are recorded in the data category.

Action (A)

The action category reflects the planning and implementation phase of the nursing process and includes immediate and future nursing actions. It may also include any changes to the plan of care.

Response (R)

The response category reflects the evaluation phase of the nursing process and describes the client’s response to any nursing and medical care.


Focus Charting (F-DAR) Samples

Listed below are sample focus charting for different problems.

F-DAR for Pain

The focus of this problem is pain. Notice the way how the D, A, and R are written.

Date/Hour Focus Progress Notes


Pain D:

  • Reports of sharp pain on the abdominal incision area with a pain scale of 8 out of 10
  • Facial grimacing
  • Guarding behavior
  • Restless and irritable



  • Administered Celecoxib 200mg IV
  • Encouraged deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques
  • Kept patient comfortable and safe


  • Patient reports pain was relieved

F-DAR for Hyperthermia

Date/Hour Focus Progress Notes


Hyperthermia D:

  • Temperature of 38.9 OC via axilla
  • Skin is flushed and warm to touch


  • Tepid Sponge Bath (TSB) done


  • Administered 250mg IV Paracetamol as per doctor’s order
  • Encouraged adequate oral fluid intake
  • Encouraged adequate rest



  • Temperature decreased from 38.9 to 37.1 OC

Another Variation

This is DAR made by Jay-D Man of Slideshare.net. with some modifications made. This is a very good variation.


F1: Ineffective Breathing Pattern

D1: increase respiratory rate of 24 cpm

D2: use of accessory muscle to breath

D3: presence of nonproductive cough

F2: Hyperthermia

D1: skin warm and flush to touched

D2: increased body temperature of T= 38.9 degree celsius/axilla

F3: Fatigue

D1: less movement noted

A: 9:00am

  • monitored v/s and charted
  • regulated IVF and charted
  • morning care done
  • assessed patient needs and performed handwashing before handling the patient
  • advised SO to always stay on patient bedside
  • promote proper ventilation and a therapeutic environment
  • elevated the head of the bed (moderate high back rest)
  • provided comfort measures and provide opportunity for patient to rest
  • due meds given


  • tepid sponge bath done
  • instructed SO to provide blanket and let patient wear loose clothing

F4: Discharge Plan (12:00nn)

D1: discharged order given by Dr.Name/Time

  • M – advised SO to give the ff. meds at the right time, dose, frequency and route
  • E – encouraged to maintain cleanliness of the house and surroundings
  • T – advised to go to follow-up consultations on the prescribed date
  • H – encouraged to do chest tapping to facilitate mobilization of secretion
  • O – observed for signs of super infections such as fever, black fury tongue and foul odor discharges
  • D – encouraged to eat fresh vegetables and fish
  • S – advised to continue praying to God and hear mass on Sunday

2:00pm – out of the room per wheelchair with improved condition



  • A very helpful guide on F-DAR or Focus Charting via SlideShare.net
  • Fundamentals of Nursing by Kozier and Erbs
Matt Vera, a registered nurse since 2009, leverages his experiences as a former student struggling with complex nursing topics to help aspiring nurses as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs, simplifying the learning process, breaking down complicated subjects, and finding innovative ways to assist students in reaching their full potential as future healthcare providers.

16 thoughts on “Focus Charting (F-DAR): How to do Focus Charting or F-DAR”

  1. hay..until now may kalituhan parin ang mga student nurses sa f-dar..pano ba naman kasi, mismong mga c.i iba-iba ang interpretation..

    • Tama ka dyan sir! Tinuruan kami nung author ng fdar na taga doh sa national children’s hospital. Sa ibang c.i’s kasi ang fdar na sana mas madali kaysa ncp mas lalong pinahirap. Hay naku! Kulang lang sa orientation.

      • we are handling at least 20 patients every station, can anyone give me some tips on fdar? our hospital is implementing it next month….

      • actually its very easy you just have to identify the problems and implement the interventions. kinda like the NCP before ut shorter and easier

  2. our hospital just implemented FDAR and we are handling atleast 25 patients, max of 40. we’ are finding FDAR to be time consuming which gives us less time for our patients.
    do you have any tips on how to make FDAR easier? or a website woth lots of FDAR examples? THANKS.

    • one way that can make your F-dar easier is to focus only on the problems that were noted. Include a template that is usually recorded like: Vitals signs checked and monitored accordingly. Referred PRN… in this way, your DAR may be short but all pertinent data and interventions RELATED to the problem is addressed

  3. document as much as you can and update it with interventions done or condition of patient… think of CYA always!
    I understand that Clinical instructors has to learn it well before teaching it… Kaloka

  4. It wud have been easier if the ones who implements it understands it well… soapie kasi gamit namin dati and wen our institutiin implemented fdar, the older supervisors still wants us to close our charting by the end of our shift wen in fact fdar asks u to complete ur charting once a response has been achieved. Note that you can input a new focus anytym in ur shift wen ul see d need to do so coz fdar asks u to chart at least once per shift


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