Traditionally, nurses have been taught the “five rights” of medication administration. These are broadly stated goals and practices to help individual nurses administer drugs safely.
- The right drug: Check the drug label and verify that the drug and form to be given is the drug that was prescribed.
- The right patient: Confirm the patient’s identity by checking two patient identifiers.
- The right dose: Verify that the dose and dosage form to be given are appropriate for the patient, and check the drug label with the prescriber’s order.
- The right time: Ensure that the drug is administered at the correct time and frequency. Confirm when the last dose was given.
- The right route: Verify that the route by which the drug is to be given is specified by the prescriber and is appropriate for the patient.
In addition the traditional “five rights” of individual practice, best-practice researchers have added three additional “rights”:
- The right reason: Verify that the drug prescribed is appropriate to treat the patient’s condition.
- The right response: Monitor the patient’s response to the drug administered.
- The right documentation: Completely and accurately document in the patient’s medical record the drug administered; the monitoring of the patient, including his response; and other nursing interventions.
By following these 8 rules every single time a nurse administers a drug, we ensure patient safety!
Reference: Nursing2018 Drug Handbook. 2018. Wolters Kluwer. Page 16.