Reducing propofol waste in the OR
Propofol is the most wasted intravenous medication used in anesthesia in the operating room (OR). Propofol, a sedative anxiolytic, is used as a continuous infusion in sedation procedures or monitored anesthesia care. Inherent to these infusions is unpredictability in determining the amount of medication needed for the duration of a procedure. This project implemented customized propofol preparation charts consistent with the literature to aid the administering professional in determining the approximate milliliter requirement for the duration of a procedure. The preintervention steps consisted of voluntary data collection among anonymous anesthesia professionals in the OR regarding infusion characteristics. Patient weight, a commonly used infusion rate, and the duration of procedure were used in the calculation within customized charts. Postintervention data collection was conducted in the same manner to capture the impact of the charts. Data were measured simultaneously at a local healthcare system’s main hospital and separate surgery center site, and waste reduction from baseline data was found to be 49% and 60%, respectively. This project was conducted over a 4-month period and translates to a potential yearly savings of greater than $15,000 for the healthcare system. Waste reduction led to savings for anesthesia departments and healthcare organizations.
Chambers E, Fitzhenry J, Lincul D. Propofol Waste Reduction in the Operating Room. AANA J. 2022 Dec;90(6):411-416. PMID: 36413185.