The "Six Rights" of Medication

The "Six Rights" of Medication

May 17, 2024

Welcome to this week’s UH EMS-I's Pharmacy Phriday. In this edition, we will once again focus on medication errors. Do you recall hearing of the “Six Rights” of medication administration in your training? They are common, but they are important. Medication administration is a high-risk event in EMS and deserves frequent review.  


Errors can occur and have the risk of causing great harm to the patient. Causes of errors vary and can include verification issues; the chaotic setting prehospital providers work in; poor lighting; dangerous environments; fatigue; the critical time-sensitive nature of emergency patient care; the rapidly changing status of ill or injured patients; medication storage issues; and appearance and labeling of medications just to name a few. Regardless of the cause, the provider must take responsibility to ensure medication errors are eliminated.  


The “Six Rights” are steps that providers can use to prevent errors. They include: 



To avoid medication errors the provider should also be aware of various tools and resources available to assist in those efforts. These can include protocols and apps, as well as tools within those documents. Other tools should include printed reference materials in the squad and, of course, your partner or medical direction. Many articles and documents stress the importance of a team concept in treating our patients and medication administration!   

Next week (May 19-25, 2024) marks the 50th anniversary of EMS Week. We would like to take this time to recognize all our EMS providers and support personnel and thank you for your service! For more about this year’s EMS Week, click here


As always, stay safe!


The UH EMS-I Team

University Hospitals