Implementing a monitoring program to reduce respiratory risk in patients receiving sedating medication is supported by published clinical and scientific evidence. Identifying specific criteria for management of postoperative patient care to reduce the potential for a medical mistake becomes critical. With increasing incidence of sleep apnea, a greater risk for an adverse health outcome with the use of sedating drugs during postoperative care looms in our practice. The increased risk is associated with a financial burden for the healthcare institution. Understanding the elements for developing a program to monitor patients at risk for respiratory depression is essential today.