Labeling syringes has always been difficult for anesthesiologists in the OR. It must be because they never seem to get it right. If you don’t believe me, just look at the image below. These drugs were found during routine inspection of an OR suite. Well that’s all changed now with the Codonics SLS Safe Label System.
The Codonics SLS Safe Label System is based upon the SmartLabels technology licensed from Massachusetts General Hospital. The system was developed by anesthesiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital to prevent intravenous medication errors via barcode assisted medication labeling. At the 2008 ASA Annual Meeting, the system was awarded the Ellison C. Pierce Award from the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation for best scientific exhibit in patient safety.
A 2009 study done by Massachusetts General Hospital with a Smart Label System evaluated compliance with The Joint Commission, ASA medication labeling requirements, patient safety, and clinician communication. The study evaluated five ORs where the labeling system was installed and compared them to manual syringe preparation by clinicians. The results showed 100% compliance was obtained using the automated system while less than half of the syringes prepared by the clinicians using traditional methods met TJC requirements. Clinicians were found to be very accepting of the system into their workflow, citing ease of use and utility of the safety features, such as audio and visual read-back of the data provided by the system. In addition to The Joint Commission labeling requirements, the system’s labels include date and time of preparation and expiration for all medications, are color-coded according to the ASA’s guidelines, and carry a 2D barcode of essential information that allows integration with an AIMS.
Recent News: “Automated Labeling Promises Smoother, Safer OR”
(originally published in the May 2010 issue of Anesthesiology News)
SLS Patient Safety Features
• Visual and audible confirmation of each drug name and concentration
• Visual and audible indication of non-usable drugs
• Configurable formulary of site-specific medications available with purchase of the SLS Administration Tool software license
• Automatic calculation and labeling of expiration
Safety Features Possible When Integrated with an AIMS
• Identification of each syringe to be administered
• Warnings for expired syringes when scanned
• Warnings for patient allergies or adverse drug interactions