pharmacists looking over drug inventory

Medication Inventory Management

We are all aware of the fact that healthcare lags behind other industries. Barriers such as heavy regulations and intense scrutiny weigh down technological advancements. And as KLAS’ Medication Inventory Management 2019 report shows, medication inventory management (MIM) is no exception; there are still improvements to be made in the space.

Difficulties in the Space

An issue specific to managing medications is the fact that these software solutions were created to support medical equipment. The equipment was first created to hold the drugs, which already have regulations and issues related to patient safety, diversion, and so on. The equipment has really dictated certain needs over other needs.

All vendors in the report are far from offering full enterprise capabilities. KLAS’ goal was to validate some next-generation technology that vendors have been developing, but the reality is that few customers are adopting this technology, and more time is needed for these solutions to be built out. We hope to see greater adoption in the next MIM report. The technology is still fractured, and enterprise capabilities are still not where we want them to be. Even the most recent technology deals with cabinet downtime and lack of visibility.

Some providers have looked to enterprise vendors, but even enterprise vendors struggle with functionality and integration gaps. For example, their software isn’t built into the nursing workflow, and the nurses still must log in to the actual cabinet software.

Steps to Take

Pieces are in place, and most of the tying together is up to the providers in terms of building interfaces and reporting. Providers can reach out to their vendors and have them show what they are working on. An exception is validated with Omnicell’s Performance Center, which provides that service. Other providers have been able to achieve success using their own resources.

Vendors can be more prescriptive with their customers and more dialed in with those on the newest platforms. Providers and vendors need to come together to facilitate advancement, with vendors spearheading the movement. Providers are already bogged down by their responsibilities to their patients. Together, let’s bring the MIM space into the twenty-first century.




     Photo cred: Adobe Stock, Kadmy