Patient Safety

Patient Safety


The OR is a complex work environment where surgical team members conduct several medication handoffs amid numerous distractions. Referred to as a ‘black hole’, the OR is a fast-paced environment that lacks the checks and balances that exist in other parts of the hospital. Today, more than 60% of medication errors occur in the operating room.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine data shows that medical errors account for as many as 250,000 deaths per year – nearly 700 per day – or about 9.5% of all deaths annually in the United States. Health and Human Services ARRA, the Institute of Medicine’s reports on medication errors, the World Health Organization and the Congressional Drug Quality & Security Act have all acknowledged that medication errors harm an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States alone resulting in up to $3.5 billion in added medical costs. Put into even more personal terms, every hospital patient may be subjected to as much as one medication error each day.

It’s important that hospitals understand that just because a medication error has yet to happen at their institution doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. In fact, statistics indicate it’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when”. Despite a host of best practices, professional association and pharmacy-driven standards, and internationally-recognized guidance on preparation and use practices, medication errors still exist.

We can do better by prioritizing patient safety. We can put technology in place that removes the element of human error and, together, we can make these preventable errors just that – preventable.

There is something we can do to end preventable medication errors

Codonics Safe Label System (SLS) is an award-winning, FDA Class II medication device that improves the safety and accuracy of medication management. A standard of care, SLS is installed in more than 550 leading medical facilities in more than 5,000 perioperative locations. An unprecedented tool in your fight against accidental patient harm, SLS addresses the three most common errors made during the selection, preparation and administration of injectable and intravenous medications, helping to prevent vial and ampoule swaps, mislabeling and illegible labeling, and syringe swaps.

SLS integrates best practices and international standards for accessibility at the point of care, and uses barcode technology to read information from a drug container and electronically verify it against the pharmacy’s hospital-approved drug database. When a drug is scanned on SLS, the clinician is immediately presented with audible and visual confirmation of the drug name and concentration in hand, providing an electronic “double-check” to ensure the medication that was selected is the medication intended. The system then automatically prints a TJC-compliant, easy-to-read label that’s ready to apply to the syringe, eliminating the need for handwriting and ensuring safety and accuracy.

Taking safety even further

As part of a total solution, SLS-WAVE, an accessory to Safe Label System, is a robust and highly accurate “hands-free” scanner that integrates with Epic Anesthesia and Plexus Anesthesia Touch to close the loop and bring BCMA to the OR. Situated conveniently within the anesthesia workflow, SLS-WAVE can be affixed to the AIMS monitor or an IV pole, keeping the patient within reach. On the way to the port, the clinician simply “waves” the barcode of an SLS prepared syringe (or most prefilled syringes) past SLS-WAVE and the NDC data is electronically passed to the AIMS/EHR workspace, significantly improving workflow. Simultaneously, the drug name and color classification are visually displayed again, at administration, to ensure safety and prevent syringe swaps.

Codonics offers a total solution for the operating room to help ensure patient safety, improve TJC compliance, increase workflow efficiency, and improve documentation for increased charge capture and 340B initiatives by capturing the exact NDC every time a medication is administered. Let us help you introduce standardization in the operating room.

“Codonics is committed to ending medication labeling errors forever and we are proud to work with renowned medical centers, organizations and governmental agencies worldwide to advance best practice standards for medication safety.”

—Peter O. Botten, Codonics President and CEO

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