Safety Innovations Series: Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids

Implementing Capnography in Low Acuity Settings
In 2013, the Virtua (1,009 beds across three hospitals) prioritized narcotic safety. This paper details Virtua’s journey of implementation of non-invasive capnography, highlighting how barriers were overcome, sharing key factors for success, and describing the ongoing challenges of effectively monitoring patients receiving intravenous opioids for pain management.

Safeguarding Patients with Surveillance Monitoring
The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
A series of adverse events led clinicians and researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to a humbling conclusion: Healthcare professionals were handicapped by their limited ability to detect signs of patient deterioration and to predict which patients were at risk for adverse events in the first place. Dartmouth-Hitchcock responded with stopgap measures to safeguard patients, including double checks of opioid administration, smart patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps, and rapid response teams.