Weant et al reported risk factors for medication errors in the Emergency Department. They also recommended a number of safety checks which can prevent the occurrence of medication errors. The authors are from North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Kentucky.

Safety checks:

(1) correct patient (positive identification)

(2) correct drug (keeping an eye out for look-alikes and sound-alikes)

(3) correct patient weight

(4) correct arithmetic (especially decimal points)

(5) correct dose

(6) correct route of administration

(7) correct rate of administration (or dosage frequency)


If given intravenously, then also check:

(8) compatibility

(9) status of intravenous (IV) line



(10) no contraindications (allergy, etc)

(11) adequate confirmation steps (double checks) prior to administration

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