Nurses are primarily involved in the administration of medication across various settings. Nurses are also involved in both dispensing and preparation of medication. Research on medical administration errors (MAEs) shows an error rate of 60%, 34 mainly in the form of wrong time, wrong rate, or wrong dose.
There are many ways to prevent medication errors and one way of which is understanding the 10 “rights” of drug administration:
1. Right Drug.
Check and verify if it’s the right name and form. Beware of look-alike and sound-alike medication names. Misreading medication names that look similar is a common mistake. These look-alike medication names may also sound alike and can lead to errors associated with verbal prescriptions. Check out The Joint Commission’s list of look-alike/sound-alike drugs.
2. Right Patient.
Ask the name of the client and check his/her ID band before giving the medication. Even if you know that patient’s name, you still need to ask just to verify.
3. Right Dose.
Check the medication sheet and the doctor’s order before medicating. Be aware of the difference of an adult and a pediatric dose.
4. Right Route.
Check the order if it’s oral, IV, SQ, IM, etc..
5. Right Time and Frequency.
Check the order for when it would be given and when was the last time it was given.
6. Right Documentation.
Make sure to right the time and any remarks on the chart correctly.
7. Right History and Assessment.
Secure a copy of the client’s history to drug interactions and allergies.
8. Drug approach and Right to Refuse.
Give the client enough autonomy to refuse to the medication after thoroughly explaining the effects.
9. Right Drug-Drug Interaction and Evaluation.
Review any medications previously given or the diet of the patient that can yield a bad interaction to the drug to be given. Check also the expiry date of the medication being given.
10. Right Education and Information.
Provide enough knowledge to the patient of what drug he/she would be taking and what are the expected therapeutic and side effects.