How to Avoid Medication Errors
1. Right Medication. Check the MD order and check it against the medication label. If you can't read it...ASK for help...call the MD
2. Right Dose. Check the MD order and the medication label. If you aren't familiar with the medication, look it up. Does this dose make sense for your patient?
3. Right Time. Check the MD order and check the medication label. Check the time. Give the medication at the time prescribed.
4. Right Route. Check the MD order and check the medication label. Make sure the route is accessible. If it's p.o., can the patient swallow meds? If not, can it be crushed? Is the IV site appropriate? Can it be given via a peripheral line or does it need to be a central line, and vice versa?
5. Right Patient. Check the MD order and check the medication label. Now check the patient. Can you identify this patient? Don't assume you know who the patient is, and NEVER go by room and bed number alone. Simple ways to ensure your patient's identity are to ask him for his name, date of birth, MD name.
6. Follow any manufacturer’s instructions. Follow your facility's protocols.
7. Observe the patient taking oral meds to be sure he has swallowed them.
8. Observe the patient for how well the medication and the procedure (especially if invasive such as an injection) is tolerated.
9. DOCUMENT medication, dose, time, route, and immediate response.
10. Notify the MD immediately of any adverse situations, including errors.