Drug administration errors are a major safety concern in anesthesiology, as even routine cases can require administration of several high-risk medications. In this randomized controlled trial, a novel system for drug administration was evaluated in comparison with usual anesthesia practice. The new system was designed according to human factors engineering principles and included proven safety measures such as barcode medication administration. Although fewer overall errors occurred with the new system, the reduction in administration errors occurred only when barcoding was performed consistently and safety alerts were heeded. The anesthesia field has long been a leader in patient safety, and in fact, some of the earliest studies in the patient safety field evaluated the role of human factors in anesthesia medication administration errors.