Reducing Anesthesia Drug Waste at ASC and Hospital ORs




Virtual Learning


Learning Opportunities


Resource Materials


News & Publications


Research Projects



Reducing drug waste created by anesthesiologists can result in significant cost savings for ASC’s and hospitals. In a recent study that was presented at the 2022 annual PostGraduate Assembly in Anesthesiology, these reductions can decrease the expense of anesthesiology care at these facilities.

“Drug waste is a significant contributor to the cost of routine anesthesia care,” said lead author of study Raj Patel, BS, a medical student at University of Illinois Chicago.

Five primary causes of the drug waste were identified:

  1. no standardization or departmental agreement on best practices for OR setup;
  2.  limited communication with anesthesia techs who are tasked with disposal of drugs left on the cart;
  3.  no method of communicating the availability of “clean drugs” that may be reused;
  4.  an unclear process for the handoff of nonnarcotic medications; and
  5.  a generally permissive culture.

Clifford Gevirtz, MD, an anesthesiologist, and the medical director of Somnia Inc., in Harrison, N.Y., noted that such an approach to containing costs is “very ambitious” and may be challenging to implement.

“What is probably cheaper is having pharmacy involved to sterilely draw up medications from multidose vials,” he said.

Reducing drug waste has shown are very positive results in helping reduce costs in ASC and hospital ORs. This could also lower the costs of patients receiving these treatments at facilities that use this method of administering these drugs during surgery.


Targeted Interventions May Halve Anesthesia Drug Waste article from Anesthesiology News:

Joint Commission Survey Strategies and Reminders:

Leave a Reply

Find A Career That’s Right For You