Unlocking The Power of Data Intelligence for The Pharmacy

July 13, 2020

From staffing to readmissions to diagnostics, data intelligence is poised to revolutionize healthcare.

From staffing to readmissions to diagnostics, data intelligence is poised to revolutionize healthcare. But not all sectors of the industry are maximizing the potential of the technology solutions that deliver these insights. Pharmacy is a key area where digital transformation can have a significant impact.

Pharmacy leaders face significant pressure to deliver cost savings and manage complex medication supply chains, all while supporting exceptional patient care. Time-consuming, outdated manual processes and disparate siloed systems – coupled with lack of inventory visibility, diversion risks, and drug shortages – are driving increased costs and potential for error.

The need for change has never been clearer. A recent study found 60% of pharmacists manage upwards of 20 medication shortages at a time. And over 72% of respondents calculated spending upwards of 15 staff hours to reconcile each medication shortage.

Every dose of medication is a node on the care network that carries valuable data about patients, inventory, and more. This robust intelligence contains critical information that impacts clinical, operational, and financial outcomes. Cloud-based pharmacy intelligence solutions provide access to critically important, real-time daily insights.

The ability to have real-time visibility to information like on-hand inventory by location, as well as the ability to forecast potential drug shortages, recalls and diversion risks, supports better clinical and operational results, while helping to increase patient and staff satisfaction.

COVID-19 exposed many challenges within the pharmacy supply chain, notably visibility gaps that lead to errors, waste and patient risk. As we begin to emerge from this crisis, medication management must be a critical area of focus.

Giving health system leaders actionable benchmarks and insights that optimize inventory, workflows, and decision-making will not only improve pharmacy supply chain management, but will help health systems move closer to business and patient care goals as part of their recovery strategy.

Pharmacy intelligence and predictive analytics drive improved outcomes, by not only enhancing visibility but by enabling the pharmacy to forecast risks, bottlenecks, and cost implications before they grow into larger medication management problems. The ability to have information about on-hand inventory available in real-time, paired with the ability to forecast potential drug shortages and other common challenges, is invaluable. Technology that offers these capabilities ultimately supports better patient care and lowers costs, making the zero-error pharmacy a reality. Not a future reality, but one that is realizable today.

Cloud-based solutions and advanced platforms can provide the data visibility needed to drive not just pharmacy management, but the entire healthcare system, forward during this unprecedented time.

Jim Garretson is vice president of Product Management at Omnicell.