5 Ways to Keep Drugs and Supplies Safe and Secure


Steps you can take to improve your medication and supply security.

If you're like most facility and nurse managers, high on your list of worries is preventing the theft of drugs and supplies from your surgery center. It's hardly surprising that oral drugs for depression, pain and anxiety tend to disappear, but it's somewhat alarming that such critical supplies as sutures, needles and implants also tend to "walk off." We asked the experts for ways to minimize the risk of this potentially dangerous and expensive problem.

1. Make security a priority. The first thing to do is to make the security of medications and critical supplies everyone's problem. "You need a consensus on this, so that security becomes a priority for everyone," says Matt Grissinger, RPh, medication safety analyst for the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

If your staff isn't large, ask everyone for input on where meds should be stored, and how, says Mr. Grissinger. If your staff is too large to include everyone, form a team made up of a representative from every department.

Medication and Supply Storage Systems and Cabinets

Whether you're looking to invest $2,000 for a locked cabinet with keyless entry or need a $40,000 state-of-the-art med station that provides unit dosing, here are the names of some manufacturers and their Web sites. Storage systems and cabinets for securing drugs and supplies can be described in three levels, from computer-driven, automated dispensing, to simpler, combination- and key-locked cabinets.

1. This level offers software integration for ADT, billing and inventory management









2. The next level has self-locking features and may also keep track of who opened it and when

Armstrong Medical Industries, Inc.


InterMetro Industries


Lionville Systems, Inc.


DSI Distribution Systems International


Artromick International



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