Medical team members providing medications to patients must make sure they are administering these medications correctly. They must provide the correct medications to the right patients according to the correct method in the right dose and at the right time. There are a number of other actions that must be carried out properly for each medication administration in order to avoid unnecessary medical errors.
The 9 “rights” mentioned below are not necessarily all inclusive. Medical professionals may need to incorporate additional methods to ensure patients are given the proper medications. Some hospitals and medical facilities may choose to add additional steps, assurances, or questions to the process.
For purposes of our discussion, the 9 rights of medication administration are provided below. These are the steps your medical provider should follow when administering medication to you or any other patient. A failure in any one of these steps could potentially lead to medication errors and medical malpractice.
- Right patient
Medical professionals must use the three national patient identifiers to make sure they are providing the medication to the intended patient. Have the patient tell you their name. Simultaneously verify their date of birth and record number (URN). Then, check that the patient history you have reviewed corresponds with the URN on their wrist.
- Right medication
It is vital to check that the medication you are administering is the same medication that was initially ordered.
- Right dose
Confirm that the dosage ordered for the patient is appropriate for the patient and his or her condition. Administering too little or too much of the right medication can lead to negative health consequences for the patient.
- Right route
When verifying the medication, it is important to evaluate whether the route being used to administer the medication is correct. The medication order should meet these requirements.
- Right time
Verify that you are administering the medication at the right time and that two dosages are not being provided in close proximity to one another, but are properly spaced according to the medication order.
- Right documentation
Making proper documentation of the medication is also the title, including the dosage, time, and route. This will enable you to better help the patient in case there is a bad reaction to the medication.
- Right action
Understanding the reasoning for the medications prescribed is important. If the medication ordered is unrelated to the patient’s specific diagnosis and there is not a clearly defined reason for its use, additional information should be sought first.
- Right form
Verify that the administration of the medication is being delivered in the proper form (i.e. tablet versus liquid).
- Right response
Lastly, after administration of the medication has occurred, check the patient’s response to the medicine. Verify whether or not the response expected has indeed occurred, or not.
When a medication error does occur, it is the patient suffers harm. The physical harm suffered may come in the form of negative side effects from an incorrect medication or dosage, a deterioration of the patient’s original condition, or unwanted interactions.
The medication administration process must include an appropriate level of accountability for each action taken. This can help to reduce the occurrence of errors that negatively affect the lives of patients. Patients who are harmed by these errors have a right to seek compensation in the form of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medication errors are potentially life threatening for patients. At Crandall & Pera Law, we help individuals, families, and loved ones secure the compensation they deserve when injured due to a medication error. We can also help you. To set up a free, no obligation consultation in Ohio or Kentucky, call us today at 877.686.8879 or fill out our contact form.