Anesthesia & Analgesia: August 2015 – Volume 121 – Issue 2 – p 410–421
Authors: Jelacic, Srdjan MD et al
BACKGROUND: Many anesthetic drug errors result from vial or syringe swaps. Scanning the barcodes on vials before drug preparation, creating syringe labels that include barcodes, and scanning the syringe label barcodes before drug administration may help to prevent errors. In contrast, making syringe labels by hand that comply with the recommendations of regulatory agencies and standards-setting bodies is tedious and time consuming. A computerized system that uses vial barcodes and generates barcoded syringe labels could address both safety issues and labeling recommendations.
METHODS: We measured compliance of syringe labels in multiple operating rooms (ORs) with the recommendations of regulatory agencies and standards-setting bodies before and after the introduction of the Codonics Safe Label System (SLS). The Codonics SLS was then combined with Smart Anesthesia Manager software to create an anesthesia barcode drug administration system, which allowed us to measure the rate of scanning syringe label barcodes at the time of drug administration in 2 cardiothoracic ORs before and after introducing a coffee card incentive. Twelve attending cardiothoracic anesthesiologists and the OR satellite pharmacy participated.
RESULTS: The use of the Codonics SLS drug labeling system resulted in >75% compliant syringe labels (95% confidence interval, 75%–98%). All syringe labels made using the Codonics SLS system were compliant. The average rate of scanning barcodes on syringe labels using Smart Anesthesia Manager was 25% (730 of 2976) over 13 weeks but increased to 58% (956 of 1645) over 8 weeks after introduction of a simple (coffee card) incentive (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: An anesthesia barcode drug administration system resulted in a moderate rate of scanning syringe label barcodes at the time of drug administration. Further, adaptation of the system will be required to achieve a higher utilization rate.