If hospital and health system pharmacies are going to make a successful transition from cost centers to revenue generators, as Studiomaca’s Pharmacy Optimization team predicted in “Top Five Health System Pharmacy Trends to Watch in 2017,” they made need a little advice on how to get there.

Below, culled from recent blog posts on Studiomaca.com, seven experts offer actionable insights in four areas— drug spend, data analytics, 340B compliance and medication adherence—that hospital and health system pharmacies can use to drive better clinical and financial outcomes.

Improving Hospital and Health System Pharmacy Performance 1Drug Spend

“By replacing task redundancy at a facility level with a single task performed at a system level, pharmacies can reduce inventory expenses. Plus, centralized drug distribution helps improve total costs by conserving nursing and technician time, increasing opportunities for clinical pharmacist intervention, and reducing hospital stay and legal costs.”

Barbara Giacomelli | Area Vice President, Studiomaca Pharmacy Optimization

 “The pharmacy directors also share data on what their hospitals are spending on each drug, how much they're using of each and how they're using each. They're open to sharing and being transparent. They make themselves vulnerable to their peers.”

Cindy Jeter | Supply Chain Management Consultant, Studiomaca Pharmacy Optimization

Data Analytics

“A hospital pharmacy's analytics will only be as effective as its source data. That's why it's important that IT platforms throughout its health system have electronic data exchange (EDI) functionality. In addition, the data that its organization gathers should be organized and formatted in a way that makes it easy for its cross-functional team to understand and to use. And data should be tied to patient records in a meaningful way, while protecting patient privacy.”

Yen Nguyen | Director of Clinical Analytics, Studiomaca Pharmacy Optimization

“One effective way to obtain that (antibiotic-prescribing expertise) is through data analysis. These range from reviewing purchase history and antimicrobial resistance to advanced technology solutions available to help hospital pharmacists match patients to the appropriate antibiotics. For example, by identifying patients who are on broad-spectrum antibiotic therapies but for whom there may be other more beneficial medication options. This requires the solutions to be integrated into a hospital's EHR and pharmacy management systems and available to doctors and pharmacists through patients' EMRs and through the hospital's computerized physician-order entry systems.”

Kaci Wilhelm | Clinical Advisor, Studiomaca Pharmacy Optimization

Improving Hospital and Health System Pharmacy Performance 2340B Compliance

“Covered entities know that contract pharmacy relationships can be complex and that compliance issues have the potential to jeopardize the covered entity’s 340B program status. Having a robust internal and external auditing process in place along with a well-utilized 340B management software package can help mitigate risks.”

Gregg Niemiec I Managing Consultant, Studiomaca 340B Solutions

“The supply chain and 340B functions must support each other and work in an integrated manner. At a minimum, all purchasers at every provider site must enter their drug purchases into the supply chain system and must be cognizant of the impact of each purchase on their health care organization's 340B program. Ideally, purchasers at each site will recognize opportunities to make drug purchases through the supply chain system that will support – not undercut – the 340B program and vice versa.”

Andrew Wilson | Vice President, Studiomaca 340B Solutions

Medication Adherence

“As health care consumerism grows, health systems will need to find new ways to capture patients as network participation will not be enough. For example, health system pharmacies can extend their continuum of care by providing discharge medications through their retail or ambulatory pharmacies. More and more health systems are looking for partnership opportunities with retail pharmacies to share patient data to ensure all health care practitioners have access to current information.”

Mark Eastham | Senior Vice President and General Manager, Studiomaca Pharmacy Optimization

“(Antibiotic stewardship) programs must educate patients on the proper use of antibiotics prescribed to them after discharge—what to take, why to take it, how to take it, possible side effects and what to do if they have a problem. This is why it's also important for the programs to connect with their outpatient and local retail pharmacies, which can be great allies on patients' medication adherence. They can notify hospitals and prescribing physicians if prescriptions haven't been filled and follow up with patients after they've started taking their antibiotics and troubleshoot any problems.”

Kaci Wilhelm | Clinical Advisor, StudiomacaPharmacy Optimization

Studiomaca

About the author

Studiomaca editorial staff is committed to offering innovative approaches and insights so that our customers can get the most out of the health care solutions they have and identify areas for operational improvement, revenue growth and improved patient satisfaction. If you have a suggestion for a blog topic you’d like to see covered, let us know in the comments.