The Five Rights of Medication Administration | IHI (2023)

by Frank Federico, RPh, Executive Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

(Video) The 5 Rights of Medication Administration – Pharmacology | Lecturio

One of the recommendations to reduce medication errors and harm is to use the “five rights”: the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right time. When a medication error does occur during the administration of a medication, we are quick to blame the nurse and accuse her/him of not completing the five rights.The five rights should be accepted as a goal of the medication process not the “be all and end all” of medication safety.

Judy Smetzer, Vice President of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), writes, “They are merely broadly stated goals, or desired outcomes, of safe medication practices that offer no procedural guidance on how to achieve these goals. Thus, simply holding healthcare practitioners accountable for giving the right drug to the right patient in the right dose by the right route at the right time fails miserably to ensure medication safety. Adding a sixth, seventh, or eighth right (e.g., right reason, right drug formulation, right line attachment) is not the answer, either.” [The five rights: A destination without a map. ISMP Medication Safety Alert. January 25, 2007;12(2).]

(Video) Rights of Medication Administration in Nursing (5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12) NCLEX Review

The five rights focus on individual performance and not on human factors and system defects that may make completing the tasks difficult or impossible.

There are a number of factors that may interfere with a nurse’s ability to complete these functions.

(Video) Knowing Patient Rights when Giving Medication

Ms.Smetzer continues, “Thus, the healthcare practitioners’ duty is not so much to achieve the five rights, but to follow the procedural rules designed by the organization to produce these outcomes. And if the procedural rules cannot be followed because of system issues, healthcare practitioners also have a duty to report the problem so it can be remedied.”


(Video) Five Rights of Medication Administration | Nurse Education


What is the 5 rights of medication administration? ›

One of the recommendations to reduce medication errors and harm is to use the “five rights”: the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right time.

Why is it important to remember the five rights of medication? ›

Following the 5 Rights of Medication Administration helps to ensure the right drug, right dose, right route, and right patient, at the right time.

Why it is important for the nurse to follow the principles of Drug Administration? ›

The basic principles of drug administration are in place to keep the patient safe. These steps are usually taken by the nurse in the process of administering medication. Wash hands, put on gloves, and get any supplies necessary to give medication via the prescribed route.

What is the purpose of medication administration? ›

Medications are substances taken into (or applied to) the body for the purpose of prevention, treatment, relief of symptoms, or cure.

What are the 5 rights of a nurse? ›

Most health care professionals, especially nurses, know the “five rights” of medication use: the right patient, the right drug, the right time, the right dose, and the right route—all of which are generally regarded as a standard for safe medication practices.

What are the 5 rights Two staff members must check before administering medication? ›

  • Right patient 4.
  • Right medication 4.
  • Right dose 4.
  • Right time 4.
  • Right route 4.
  • Right documentation 4.

Why is it important to know the patient's rights? ›

Every person has a right to a continuity of good quality Health Care without discrimination and within the limits of the resources, manpower and competence available for health and medical care. In the course of such care, his human dignity, convictions, integrity, individual needs and culture shall be respected.

Why is it important for patients to know their rights? ›

1) To help patients feel more confident in the US health care system, the Bill of Rights: Assures that the health care system is fair and it works to meet patients' needs. Gives patients a way to address any problems they may have. Encourages patients to take an active role in staying or getting healthy.

Why is the right to medicine important? ›

Improving such access could save millions of lives every year. The issue of vaccine equity and access to medicines is a fundamental component of the full realization of the right to health. Vaccines and medicines must not only be produced and made available; they must also be accessible to all persons.

What are the most important things to be aware of when administering medication? ›

Check the name of the medication, brand names should be avoided. Check the expiry date. Check the prescription. Make sure medications, especially antibiotics, are reviewed regularly.

How can I improve my medication administration skills? ›

The Importance of Medication Administration: 5 Ways to Improve
  1. Assess the work environment. ...
  2. Implement medication safety technologies. ...
  3. Educate patients and caregivers. ...
  4. Implement strategies for “LASA” drugs. ...
  5. Take extra precaution with “high alert” medications.
13 Mar 2019

How do you know you are giving the right medication to the right person? ›

Right Medication

Read the label of the medication, triple-check the patient's charts, and make sure you are administering the correct medication for that patient.

What is one of your main responsibilities in medication administration? ›

Nurses' responsibility for medication administration includes ensuring that the right medication is properly drawn up in the correct dose, and administered at the right time through the right route to the right patient.

Why are routes of administration important? ›

Why is the route of administration important? Choosing the correct route of administration is vital to ensuring the delivery of the most efficacious dose in the most convenient way, with the lowest risk of side effects.

What is the correct process for medication administration? ›

Medication Administration Procedure
  1. Wash your hands and gather the necessary supplies.
  2. Remove the patient's medication from the storage area.
  3. Check the label on the bottle or card and pick the medication to be administered.
  4. Compare the medication administration record with the label to make sure they correlate.
17 Feb 2022

Why are rights of nurses important? ›

Nurses have the right to practice in a manner that fulfills their obligations to society and to those who receive nursing care. Nurses have the right to practice in environments that allow them to act in accordance with professional standards and legally authorized scopes of practice.

What is five responsibilities that the patient is supposed to comply? ›

Every patient or client has the following responsibilities:

to take care of his or her health. to care for and protect the environment. to respect the rights of other patients and health providers. to utilise the health care system properly and not abuse it.

What are the 5 rights in health and social care? ›

Individual rights (e.g. right to be respected, treated with equality, and fairly, respected as an individual and not discriminated against, privacy, dignity, protection from danger and harm; right to access information relevant to themselves; right to communicate using their preferred methods of communication and ...

What 5 rights must an educator check when administering medication? ›

Additional Information
  • The right patient.
  • The right medication (drug)
  • The right dose.
  • The right route.
  • The right time.
  • The right reason.
  • The right documentation.

How many rights should be checked when giving medication? ›

Errors in administering medication can have devastating effects, so to protect people from any accidental harm you should always remember the Six Rights of Administration - they go as follows: Right Person – People can have very similar, or even the same names.

What five key elements would you check when administering medication? ›

Understanding the “5 rights” of medication administration in the UK:
  • The right patient.
  • The right drug.
  • The right dose.
  • The right route.
  • The right time.
9 Mar 2021

How do you protect patient rights? ›

5 Ways To Protect Your Patients' Rights
  1. Never discuss the patient's case with anyone without the patient's permission (including family and friends during off-duty hours)
  2. Never leave hard copies of forms or records where unauthorized persons may access them.

How do you respect the rights of patients? ›

be treated as an individual, and with dignity and respect. have your culture, identity, beliefs and choices recognised and respected.
Healthcare professionals have a duty to:
  1. treat you respectfully.
  2. listen to your concerns.
  3. answer your questions clearly and honestly.
  4. inform and educate you about your illness.

How do you promote patient rights? ›

5 Actions That Promote Patient Advocacy
  1. Keep the Entire Team Informed. ...
  2. Prevent Unwelcome Family Intervention. ...
  3. Provide Assistance with Social and Financial Issues. ...
  4. Exhibit Correct Nursing Care. ...
  5. Teach them to advocate for themselves. ...
  6. Create a medical summary. ...
  7. Acquire personal health knowledge.
22 Nov 2019

Why is it important to treat patients with dignity and respect? ›

Care with dignity supports the self-respect of the person, recognising their capacities and ambitions, and does nothing to undermine it. It includes respect for what they can do, who they are, and the life they've lived. It's seen as a central part of quality in care work.

What is the first thing you should do before administering medication? ›

Start with the basics
  • Verify any medication order and make sure it's complete. ...
  • Check the patient's medical record for an allergy or contraindication to the prescribed medication. ...
  • Prepare medications for one patient at a time.
  • Educate patients about their medications. ...
  • Follow the eight rights of medication administration.
9 May 2016

Why is it so important for patients to be involved in medication administration? ›

​Patients have an important role in the medication administration process. Patients who've asked questions about the medications they were about to receive have prevented many medication errors. Clinical personnel should always pay close to attention to the questions and concerns of patients.

What is the most common reason for medication administration errors? ›

Common causes of medication error include incorrect diagnosis, prescribing errors, dose miscalculations, poor drug distribution practices, drug and drug device related problems, incorrect drug administration, failed communication and lack of patient education.

What is the fastest way to administer medication? ›

Intravenous administration is the best way to deliver a precise dose quickly and in a well-controlled manner throughout the body. It is also used for irritating solutions, which would cause pain and damage tissues if given by subcutaneous or intramuscular injection.

What should you do if you give someone the wrong medication? ›

What to Do If Medication Errors Happen? Nurses and other hospital staff should immediately report the incident to the doctor and the nursing supervisor. Patients who suspect that their healthcare providers commit medication errors should immediately notify the doctor or nurse.

What route is ear drops? ›

Otic route:

The drug is administered in the outer ear canal as liquid drops. It is used to treat local infections/inflammation and there is minimum systemic absorption.

What is first pass effect? ›

The first pass effect is a phenomenon in which a drug gets metabolized at a specific location in the body that results in a reduced concentration of the active drug upon reaching its site of action or the systemic circulation.

When administering medication the nurse checks the right? ›

When performing these three checks, the nurse should ensure this is the right medication, right patient, right dosage, right route, and right time.

What are the 5 rights and 3 checks of medication administration? ›

These 6 rights include the right patient, medication, dose, time, route and documentation. Futhermore, nurses are also urged to do the three checks; checking the MAR, checking while drawing up medication and checking again at bedside. It is important to check for allergies as well before administration.

What are the 5 steps of medication reconciliation? ›

This process comprises five steps: (1) develop a list of current medications; (2) develop a list of medications to be prescribed; (3) compare the medications on the two lists; (4) make clinical decisions based on the comparison; and (5) communicate the new list to appropriate caregivers and to the patient.

What are the 6 rights of Med administration? ›

Six Rights of Medication Administration
  • Identify the right patient. ...
  • Verify the right medication. ...
  • Verify the indication for use. ...
  • Calculate the right dose. ...
  • Make sure it's the right time. ...
  • Check the right route.

Is it 6 or 7 rights of medication administration? ›

We highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the seven rights of medication administration in order to protect both your patients and yourself.

How do you pass medication administration? ›

Rights of Medication Administration
  1. Right patient. Check the name on the order and the patient. ...
  2. Right medication. Check the medication label. ...
  3. Right dose. Check the order. ...
  4. Right route. Again, check the order and appropriateness of the route ordered. ...
  5. Right time. ...
  6. Right documentation. ...
  7. Right reason. ...
  8. Right response.
28 May 2011

What are the five parts of the medication cycle? ›

Your role in the Medication Cycle will also be defined. Here you can see the five parts of the medication cycle: observation, reporting changes, visiting the healthcare practitioner, getting and storing medication, and administration and documentation.

What are the minimum 5 audits of medication handling? ›

Our medication audits cover:
  • Comprehensive review of procedures with particular attention to: Storage. Administration and handling of medication. Documentation and recording. Disposal. ...
  • In-house audit.
  • Review of current stock held in home.
  • Review of medication record sheets.
  • Review of policies and procedures.

What is the form of medication? ›

Medications come in many dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, liquids, creams, and patches. They can also be given in different ways, such as by mouth, by infusion into a vein, or by drops that are put into the ear or eye.

Why is the 7 rights of medication administration important? ›

Knowing about medications and how to assist individuals in using them is vital to the health and well- being of those you support. Following the Seven Rights each time you assist an individual with self-administration of medication is the best way for the Direct Support Professional (DSP) to prevent medication errors.

What are the 7 rights of Medicine? ›

7 Rights of Medication Administration
  • Right Medication. ...
  • Right Child. ...
  • Right Dose. ...
  • Right Time. ...
  • Right Route. ...
  • Right Reason. ...
  • Right Documentation.

What are the 9 rights of medication? ›

The list below offers some suggestions.
  • Right patient. Change the name band e.g. date of birth or medical record number. ...
  • Right reason. Add medications that make no sense for a patient. ...
  • Right medication. ...
  • Right dose. ...
  • Right route. ...
  • Right time. ...
  • Right documentation. ...
  • Right response.

What is one of the 10 rights of medication administration? ›

Right to refuse

Ensure you have the patient consent to administer medications. Be aware that patients do have a right to refuse medication if they have the capacity to do so.

What are the 10 rights of the patient? ›

Let's take a look at your rights.
  • The Right to Be Treated with Respect.
  • The Right to Obtain Your Medical Records.
  • The Right to Privacy of Your Medical Records.
  • The Right to Make a Treatment Choice.
  • The Right to Informed Consent.
  • The Right to Refuse Treatment.
  • The Right to Make Decisions About End-of-Life Care.
25 Feb 2020


1. The "Five Rights" of Safe Medication Administration
2. 5 Rights
(DDS Webmaster)
3. The Rights of Medication Administration in Nursing
4. 5 Rights of Medication Administration I B Sc Nursing 1st Year I Foundations of Nursing I
(Online Nursing Classes)
5. Medication Administration Checks/Rights
(Nursing Assessment and Skills)
6. 5 Rights of medication administration
(Nurse Boo Baylie)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated: 03/24/2023

Views: 6214

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.