Hospitals and the anesthesiologists who work at them are charged with meeting tight regulations for the use and disposal of opioid medications provided to patients undergoing procedures in operating rooms. Every drug that is administered to a patient, or that is not fully used, must be documented, and any medicines not used must be disposed of with a witness’s confirmation. The aim is to ensure that opioids do not end up in the wrong hands. Drugs are controlled through locked cabinets, either automated or not. Management of waste disposal, on the other hand, can be manually accomplished via paper and pen, with a witness indicating that a product was discarded.
IntelliGuard has released what it describes as an automated alternative using passive UHF(RAIN) RFID technology to detect which products are taken from or returned to an anesthesia cabinet, and to link each event with the provider who accessed that drug. The company’s Waste Witness software is currently in use at several U.S. hospitals, according to Elise Claudepierre, IntelliGuard’s VP of marketing.