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Anesthesia Med Tracking Survey

by Nathalie Celcis

Last month, we surveyed Directors of Pharmacy and other pharmacy leaders about key pain points in anesthesia medication tracking, wasting, and discrepancy reconciliation. Over 100 respondents shared their insights and the results are in!

Here are three things we learned in this year’s survey:

Discrepancy reconciliation is a time-consuming issue

Resolving documentation and dispensing errors related to controlled substances is a widespread challenge for survey respondents.  In this year’s survey, 86.4% of respondents consider accurate medication use tracking in the OR to be a “moderate”, “significant”, or “tremendous” issue. One-quarter of the survey class spends between 5-10 hours resolving discrepancy issues every week!

Pharmacy leaders don’t have a comfortable level of visibility into anesthesia medication use

The results were split in terms of the level of comfort or confidence with the level of visibility on the status, quantity, and use of anesthesia medication. Exactly 39.1% of survey participants said they receive accurate updates at the end of each day. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 39.1% said that keeping track is a constant struggle. A meager 5.5% of survey respondents had the confidence to say they know where everything is all the time.

Despite the issues, there is not much bandwidth to address the problems

Although nearly all our survey participants are feeling the pains of controlled substance tracking, most of their hospitals don’t plan on addressing the issue in the next 12 months. Only 18.2% of survey respondents have committed to investing time, money, or resources in improving controlled substance tracking, diversion prevention, or discrepancy analytics in the next 0-6 months. Only 22.7% anticipate taking steps in the next 6-12 months, 30.0% expect to start in 12-24 months, and 24.5% have no immediate plans to pursue this issue.

Want the full results? Download the 2017 Anesthesia Medication Tracking Survey Report.

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