Any man or woman in Oregon or other region in the United States who has completed schooling to become a licensed nurse is no doubt familiar with the “five Rs of Medication Administration.” This is a list of recommendations or, in other words, a “checklist” that helps nurses avoid medication errors. Every patient receiving medication from a nurse has a right to reasonably expect him or her to adhere to all protocol and accepted safety standards.
The five Rs protect the patient
While there are additional measures a nurse can take to avoid medication errors, the following list includes the basic recommendations (Rs) that nurses are advised to check before giving a patient medicine:
- Right patient
- Right medication
- Right dosage
- Right route
- Right time
Computerized medical records also help nurses avoid mistakes
Hospitals keep patients’ medical records on file in their computer systems. A nurse could expect to find, for instance, information regarding a specific medication that a doctor has prescribed for a particular patient. It is up to the nurse to confirm that he or she is administering a medication to the correct person, in the proper dosage prescribed by a physician. A nurse should also make sure to administer the medication by the appropriate route, usually meaning orally, by injection or topically.
Medication errors are easy to avoid
“Never event” is a term that refers to errors or negligence that occurs in the medical industry but is easily avoidable and, therefore, should never happen. Using the five Rs to avoid medication errors helps keep patients safe. If a person suffers illness or injury because of nursing neglect, he or she may have grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim in a civil court. Sadly, some medication errors are fatal, in which case an immediate family member would be able to file a claim on a decedent’s behalf.