Modern operating rooms are high-pressure environments. Anesthesia providers need to balance patient care with the administrative tasks that come with managing medication safely. At the same time, Pharmacy needs to maintain accountability for the controlled substances being dispensed. Both are juggling manual processes that make medication management in the operating room challenging.

One of the biggest problems with the status quo is that it is highly reliant on inefficient, manual processes that put patients in danger. Anesthesia providers must simultaneously manage medication preparation, reconciliation, tracking, and auditing – all time-consuming tasks that pull providers away from their core competencies. On top of this, the need to maintain regulatory compliance further complicates their workload.

At Baptist Health, we’ve successfully relieved many of these burdens for our anesthesia providers. How? By adopting automated dispensing system technology in our operating rooms. Implementing automated anesthesia carts has been a game changer for our system, helping us to increase waste compliance and streamline our auditing processes.

I was joined by my colleagues M. Brandon McClain, Director of Pharmacy at Baptist Health Floyd, and Dr. Patrick Guffey, Chief Medical Information Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado, for an in-depth discussion on “Why Automation in the OR Is Critical to Safe Medication Management.” We shared our unique perspectives on:

  • Current pain points with medication management across the operating room and perioperative settings
  • Understanding the benefits to pharmacy and anesthesia when adopting automated dispensing systems
  • Benefits of anesthesia closed loop functionality for both anesthesia providers and pharmacy
  • Business drivers to justify investments in anesthesia workstations
  • First steps on the path to decisions on anesthesia workstations



The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author(s). These views are always subject to change, revision, and rethinking at any time and may not be held in perpetuity.