Medication Management

  • R. Lebron Cooper
  • Alan Merrys
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)

Management of medications in the OR is a topic of special interest that has surfaced in recent years. Historically, pharmacists seldom had much interaction with anesthesiologists and frequently “relinquished” control of most medications used by anesthesiologists. Controlled substances, defined as Schedule II–V by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), have been controlled in different ways at different institutions, with no standardized system established across the country. Other medications used in the OR were typically stored as “floor stock,” a method of maintaining a stock of medication vials that was replenished when the stock ran low. Pharmacy (and occasionally anesthesia) technicians simply filled a bin of medications when it needed replenishing. These systems had limited inventory control, frequently inaccurate methods of billing and tracking, no automatic reordering, and few internal safeguards. Anesthesiologists retrieved the medications that they intended to administer, recorded what they gave on handwritten anesthesia records, and wasted excess drug, with no pharmacist review of the order, dispensing, or administration of the medication.

Recent advances in medication management have allowed anesthesiologists and pharmacists to work together as a team. Current systems allow pharmacists to control certain medications, track medications given, reorder stock more accurately to reduce overall inventory costs, bill accurately for medications used, and build safeguards into the system to prevent or reduce medication error and adverse drug events.


Medication Error Adverse Drug Event Computerize Physician Order Entry Anesthesia Provider Anesthesia Information Management System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Lebron Cooper
    • 1
  • Alan Merrys
    • 1
  1. 1.Ochsner Health SystemUSA

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