Unlock Savings: Move Pharmacy Supply Chain Best Practices Front and Center

Post Date: Nov 19th 2015

Author: Chris Parrish

What could you do if you had comprehensive, real-time insight into all existing medication inventory?

I recently explored this question during Aesynt’s customer meeting, Building Bridges, where I had the opportunity to present lessons learned from our experiences at Aultman.  I shared with the audience how the right medication management strategy can benefit patient care, while simultaneously improving organization-wide efficiency and productivity, including approximately $250,000 in savings in an eight-month period.

Our Ohio-based integrated delivery network has long been a pharmacy technology pace-setter, including being the first health system in the country to achieve 100% visibility into pharmacy inpatient inventory in a single system. However, we still struggled with several issues that are common across any supply chain operation, and whose results are acutely felt in hospital pharmacies, including:

  • High levels of expired medications, and the resultant costs in waste.
  • Difficulty managing critical shortage medications to ensure we had the right medication available for patients when needed.
  • Challenges managing inventory overall – higher than expected inventory levels and costs, but no visibility as to what was driving these costs.

To address these issues, we implemented Aesynt’s Enterprise Medication ManagerTM.  We also identified a team of people to work with Aesynt’s Pharmacy Supply Chain Optimization team to make sure we were using the data to drive results.  The outcomes to date have been encouraging:

  • We have reduced inventory levels by more than $200,000:  Centralized inventory management enables low unit-of-measure distribution to our smaller hospital and clinics, which better matches inventory to supply and demand for expensive or slow-moving medications.
  • We have significantly improved shortage medication management: We can identify which medications we are tracking as shortages.  We can see across our health system how many days on-hand we have of each drug, at the location and down to the device level.  We can move shortage medications among sites in real-time, through a single interface.  We consider these basic capabilities as critical for patient safety.

While we have made significant progress, our journey still continues.  In the future, we will focus on other workflow improvements, including controlled substances.  We will also look to leverage EMM capabilities to expand our pharmacy services to other regional health systems. 

Pharmacy supply chain has great untapped potential within health systems. As Aultman’s journey illustrates, elevating pharmacy supply chain operations can quickly deliver real results. We are excited to continue to partner with Aesynt to drive adoption of industry-wide best practices and technological innovation.

Have a question or comment regarding pharmacy supply chain innovations? We’d love to hear from you: You can leave us a comment here, or chat with us on Facebook, Twitter (@aesynt) or LinkedIn.

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