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Medication Inventory Management 2019
How Close Is Your Vendor to Enabling True Enterprise MIM?

author - Jackson Tate
Jackson Tate
author - Paul Warburton
Paul Warburton
August 13, 2019 | Read Time: 3  minutes

Enterprise medication inventory management (MIM) can create substantial efficiency gains and financial savings, but the reality today is that no pharmacy or EMR vendor delivers the full visibility hospitals need. Even those vendors furthest down the path lag behind the inventory capabilities found in other industries, such as retail and manufacturing. To highlight which vendors have made progress and where gaps still remain, this report compares the reality of each vendor’s MIM offering with the full spectrum of capabilities required for true enterprise MIM. Additional findings are also highlighted in two areas that impact MIM—automated dispensing cabinets and medication kit/tray management solutions.

status of vendor progress toward enterprise medication inventory management

Omnicell Furthest on the Road to Enterprise MIM; Customers Often Unclear on Future Vision

Omnicell is currently the only vendor with a generally available enterprise optimization analytics solution (Performance Center). Early adopters of this offering—which includes proactive managed analytics services and advanced reporting tools—report improvements in inventory optimization. However, adoption is limited to a handful of customers due to the solutions’ cost and the fact that users must have the full complement of Omnicell hardware. Additionally, Omnicell has not laid out a clear road map customers can follow to achieve enterprise MIM—while customers understand the vision of connecting cabinet and carousel data, most customers don’t understand how products like IVX Workflow, XR2, and i.v.STATION can factor into an enterprise MIM strategy.

Customers Still Waiting for BD HealthSight to Become Generally Available

In 2017, BD announced HealthSight—an advanced analytics platform intended to optimize medication inventory and integrate the broader BD pharmacy ecosystem. Two years later, KLAS has not validated the system being used outside of developmental partnerships. Most BD customers looking for inventory reporting and analytics rely primarily on Pyxis ES’ reporting module—Knowledge Portal—which users say is complex and requires significant manual effort. However, BD has been effective at educating customers on their overall vision. As a result, many are technologically prepared to take the next step toward enterprise MIM by adopting the HealthSight platform.

Gaps in Integration and Visibility Tied to Low Purchase Energy for ARxIUM, Swisslog, Epic, & Cerner

mim purchase consideration energyARxIUM, Swisslog, Epic, and Cerner all have gaps in their ability to provide enterprise MIM capabilities, resulting in lower consideration rates in MIM purchase decisions. ARxIUM has struggled to fully integrate their technology suite and provide a clear vision of their role in enterprise MIM. Swisslog’s technology focuses solely on the central pharmacy, a strategy that does not match the decentralized-pharmacy approach taken by many hospitals today.

While many Cerner and Epic EMR customers would like to be able to use their EMR vendor’s MIM software as an agnostic tool to manage inventory across disparate hardware, for most, this is not a reality today. Epic’s MIM solution has limited adoption, and customers typically use their automation equipment’s inventory software to fill gaps created by Epic’s limited out-of-the-box reporting and par-level management. Customers report that Epic is willing to help out but that pharmacy development is not a high priority. Cerner customers have primarily been left to drive development themselves. Cerner’s RxStation cabinet is not integrated with their MIM software.

Hardware Defects in New Omnicell XT Lead to Downtime and Manual Inventory Counting

overall score trend adc vendorsGiven the trend toward decentralized pharmacy strategies, provider organizations making MIM purchasing decisions generally start with automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs). Omnicell’s newer XT cabinets have significant hardware challenges. Though Omnicell sends engineers on-site to fix the cabinets after install, trust in Omnicell as an enterprise MIM partner has declined, and some customers are wary of rolling out additional technology. After a rocky start, BD customers feel the MedStation ES has achieved a steady state in terms of technology and service delivery, creating further trust in BD’s MIM road map. ARxIUM customers report improved support but still have trouble connecting with ARxIUM’s other MIM solutions.

Kit Check and IntelliGuard Offer Accurate Visibility and Expiration Tracking; Inmar First to Provide Non-RFID Option

safety and efficiencySeveral solutions are available to help hospitals track the inventory stored in medication trays and kits. Through RFID and barcoding, Kit Check and IntelliGuard eliminate manual counting and enable organizations to reduce waste from expired drugs. Retroactive usage reports are provided to help customers make informed stocking decisions. Newer entrant Inmar provides similar benefits but does so through the use of cameras rather than RFID tags, creating the potential to reduce ongoing costs.

author - Natalie Jamison
Project Manager
Natalie Jamison
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.