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Pharmacy 2016
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Pharmacy 2016
Are You Partnered to Reduce Costs?

Authored by: Paul Hess March 31, 2016 | Read Time: 3  minutes

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Healthcare reform and decreasing reimbursements are restructuring hospital budgets around the country, and more than ever, hospital executives are looking for ways to reduce pharmacy costs by boosting staff productivity and decreasing medication spending. KLAS interviewed 55 hospital C-levels and 124 pharmacy directors about initiatives they are implementing to position themselves for value-based care and about which vendors they are partnering with in the various segments that make up the pharmacy automation and inventory ecosystem.

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1. INVENTORY MANAGEMENT: AESYNT, BD, AND TALYST OFFER EARLY ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS

Providers say enterprise medication inventory management is their biggest opportunity for cutting pharmacy costs, as it has the potential to tie an ecosystem together by providing better tracking capabilities and a holistic inventory view. Provider interest in systems that provide such management is high, but vendor development has been slow—KLAS has validated only three products in use and only a handful of live sites. Aesynt users feel the product is promising if development continues. Though BD’s system has been in development for years, KLAS has validated very few sites using it as more than carousel software. Talyst providers see medication savings but would like better integration.

enterprise vs modular medication management solutions biggest opportunities for cost savings

2. DRUG WHOLESALERS: CARDINAL HEALTH LEADS, BUT ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT FROM ALL

Cardinal Health customers report a relatively better experience overall, crediting workflow-optimization guidance for the time savings they see when ordering drugs and generating reports. They note needing more actionable insights from these reports in order to make smarter purchasing decisions. McKesson is highlighted for strong contract pricing and reports that reduce medication spending by tracking purchasing trends. AmerisourceBergen is often chosen for their lower costs, though providers see fewer savings than expected due to frequently back-ordered drugs, ordering tools that aren’t as automated as desired, and the vendor’s hands-off approach to workflow optimization.

drug wholesaler performance in key areas

3. CENTRAL PHARMACY AUTOMATION: NO STANDOUT LEADER IN STAFF EFFICIENCY; TALYST LEADS IN REDUCING SPENDING

Aesynt, BD, and Omnicell users report similar outcomes with staff productivity and don’t find the technology particularly sophisticated, as the reports do not provide actionable insights. Talyst is noted for reducing medication spending due to the system’s inventory management and the vendor’s previous history with split-billing software. ARxIUM users feel support challenges following the merger have exacerbated uptime and development struggles. Swisslog is cited for not delivering development or tools that automate inventory and par-level tracking.

4. MEDICATION DISPENSING CABINETS: OMNICELL EXCELS AT IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY, REDUCING SPENDING

Customers credit Omnicell’s detailed reports for helping reduce unnecessary ordering and highlight the cabinet’s ease of use and high uptime for boosting efficiency. Aesynt, BD (CareFusion), and Cerner customers score their vendors lower in these areas, and many report that moving to cabinets has actually increased their medication spending due to the increased inventory needed to stock the equipment. ARxIUM users are the least satisfied, citing poor field support and a lack of development.

central pharmacy adc and robots

4. PHARMACY IS: EPIC BEST AT IMPROVING STAFF EFFICIENCY

Pharmacists credit Epic’s user-friendly system for streamlining their order-verification processes. Cerner and MEDITECH customers report that less-prescriptive formulary implementations from their vendors hinder their ability to identify lower-cost generics, benefit from enterprise-wide prescribing standards, and promote medication adherence among patients. Some Epic users mention having advanced generic-substitution and inventory-monitoring tools, but most providers, including those using Epic, find no real correlation between their pharmacy IT system and their ability to reduce medication spending.

information systems
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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. © 2021 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.