8 rights of medication administration

Chances are that some of you may not have known that in addition to the well-known 5 right of medication administration, some experts have added 3 more to the list. When it comes to patient safety, it’s never a bad time to review some of the basics and increase your awareness of newer recommendations.

Please add any of your own tips and medication safety advice by leaving a comment. For more reading and learning related to this topic, please explore our CE collection on medication safety. Thank you!


Rights of Medication Administration

1. Right patient

  • Check the name on the order and the patient.
  • Use 2 identifiers.
  • Ask patient to identify himself/herself.
  • When available, use technology (for example, bar-code system).

2. Right medication

  • Check the medication label.
  • Check the order.

3. Right dose

  • Check the order.
  • Confirm appropriateness of the dose using a current drug reference.
  • If necessary, calculate the dose and have another nurse calculate the dose as well.

4. Right route

  • Again, check the order and appropriateness of the route ordered.
  • Confirm that the patient can take or receive the medication by the ordered route.

5. Right time

  • Check the frequency of the ordered medication.
  • Double-check that you are giving the ordered dose at the correct time.
  • Confirm when the last dose was given.

6. Right documentation

  • Document administration AFTER giving the ordered medication.
  • Chart the time, route, and any other specific information as necessary. For example, the site of an injection or any laboratory value or vital sign that needed to be checked before giving the drug.

7. Right reason

  • Confirm the rationale for the ordered medication.  What is the patient’s history? Why is he/she taking this medication?
  • Revisit the reasons for long-term medication use.

8. Right response

  • Make sure that the drug led to the desired effect.  If an antihypertensive was given, has his/her blood pressure improved? Does the patient verbalize improvement in depression while on an antidepressant?
  • Be sure to document your monitoring of the patient  and any other nursing interventions that are applicable.

Reference: Nursing2012 Drug Handbook. (2012). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

More Reading & Resources
Drug News
Clinical Nursing Resources
Three Ways to Minimize Your Risk of a Medication Error



Posted: 5/27/2011 8:41:57 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 32 comments

Alvina Emmy
Great information!
3/13/2018 5:45:23 AM

Eleana Stephens
Thank you so much for your helpful post.
2/13/2018 9:37:03 AM

Sophia Baker
This is great information. So concise and easy to understand :)
12/26/2017 10:11:12 PM

Sophia Baker
Great information. Very concise and easy to understand and helpful!
12/8/2017 10:14:12 PM

Brilliant! My daughter is studying nursing so I might pass this over her way :)
12/8/2017 10:12:53 PM

Jolene Ejmont
Thanks for the helpful information about the importance of medication administration! We also have a post to share about the importance of wearing some great comfy flats that are supportive when you are on your feet as much as nurses are :)
12/8/2017 10:05:41 PM

Samantha Baker
This is great information. So concise and easy to understand :)
11/20/2017 4:59:48 AM

Thank you very much for the great information!! Much appreciated!cerveza
11/18/2017 1:45:46 AM

Tnx for this data
9/30/2017 8:37:53 AM

Good Info
9/16/2017 10:16:18 PM

آموزش خیاطی
Useful! Thank you!
7/31/2017 3:27:09 AM

Jesscia Greene
I am borrowing this information for a class. Thank you for sharing this.
5/24/2017 11:44:14 AM

Festus Etuk
Very useful I appreciate it thanks
11/27/2016 9:27:59 AM

Thanks alot for these useful data!
11/23/2016 8:11:15 AM

puja bakali
it is very useful... but now there is 10 right.. so i wanna know these 10 rights..
7/24/2016 2:52:12 AM

Donna Sadowski
This was extremely helpful!!! Teaching a new Dad how to give his two month old son medication through gtube. THANK YOU!!!!
5/30/2016 5:28:38 AM

Kimberly Evans, BSN-RN
Love this!
5/17/2016 10:52:54 AM

A patients right to refuse
4/27/2016 6:18:32 AM

Baby Walker
Thanks for this post
4/13/2016 5:51:07 PM

The Right medication was promoting more other administration sites and all those presenting.
3/9/2016 5:08:53 AM

very useful. thnx
3/4/2016 4:54:34 AM

Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP
Hi Lois,
Thank you for your question. The use of two patient identifiers is one of the National Patient Safety Goals of the Joint Commission. Here's the rationale for this "first, to reliably identify the individual as the person for whom the service or treatment is intended; second, to match the service or treatment to that individual." http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/2015_npsg_hap.pdf
2/25/2016 8:58:40 AM

I would like to ask, is I possible to have one one identifier instead of two? Or any one of the identifier was replaced by a computer instead ?
2/25/2016 7:54:43 AM

thank you
2/16/2016 9:12:19 PM

thank you!
2/16/2016 9:11:54 PM

Useful! Thank you!
2/11/2016 6:17:02 PM

Darla Shar
I also add the Right Form.
1/26/2016 5:52:23 AM

I knew we had another "R" for Reactions (in terms of allergies) to be checked before the administration!
1/25/2016 6:17:48 AM

very useful
11/29/2015 11:17:47 AM

Great information! I did not know about the last 3. Thanks!
10/15/2015 7:39:42 PM

Angela Magodiela
Informative really
10/13/2015 12:38:58 AM

Thank a lot.
9/25/2015 9:49:40 AM