Five-rights - medication; Medication administration - hospital; Medical errors - medication
Medication safety means you get the right medicine, the right dose, at the right times. During your hospital stay, your health care team needs to follow many steps to make sure this happens. You can also help ensure that you get the right medicines the right way.
All hospitals have a process in place to make sure you get the right medicines. A mistake could cause a problem for you. The process is as follows:
The pharmacy may receive some prescriptions by computer (electronic) and some that are handwritten. Electronic prescriptions are easier to read than handwritten prescriptions, meaning there is less chance of a medicine error with electronic prescriptions.
Your doctor can tell your nurse to write down a prescription for you. Then your nurse can send the prescription to the pharmacy. This is called a verbal order. Your nurse should repeat the prescription back to your doctor to make sure it is right before sending it to the pharmacy.
Your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist will check to make sure any new medicines you receive do not cause a bad reaction with other medicines you are already taking.
The 5 rights of medicine is a checklist nurses use to make sure you get the right medicine. The 5 rights are as follows:
You can help make sure you get the right medicine the right way during your hospital stay by doing the following:
Wachter RM. Quality of care and patient safety. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 11.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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