Updated: Sep 6, 2018
The dual pressures to improve outcomes and control drug spending are creating new clinical and business challenges for NGO's, hospital and health system pharmacies.
Among those challenges are:
Using advanced data to drive clinical and impact decision-making
Serving the medication needs of higher acuity patients in non-acute care settings
Finding unique and creative ways to control spending on acute-care pharmaceuticals
Effectively managing government discount programs for the medically underserved
By comparing notes and data, the members can identify opportunities to reduce their drug spend without sacrificing the safety or quality of inpatient hospital care.
Building a NGO/Hospital Pharmacy Council for Drug Cost Containment: A pharmacy council is a group of inpatient pharmacy directors from noncompeting hospitals and health systems who regularly share data and exchange information on the prescription medications their organizations are using, new pharmaceuticals on the market, drug shortages and how much they’re paying for the drugs they’re using. By comparing notes and data, the members can identify opportunities to reduce their drug spend without sacrificing the safety or quality of inpatient hospital care.
NGO's and Hospital Pharmacies Can Improve Antibiotic Control: The appropriate use of antibiotics can greatly affect those measures. “That means prescribing antibiotics appropriately for complex patient cases, understanding the proper use of niche antibiotics, choosing narrow-spectrum antibiotics to treat specific infections and knowing when not to prescribe antibiotics
Becoming a Differentiated Pharmacy Partner to Skilled Nursing Facilities: As post-acute care facilities like home-care agencies and skilled nursing facilities accept higher acuity patients, their patients have greater and more complex prescription medication needs. One way hospital and health systems pharmacies can help is by setting up a geriatric formulary for post-acute care providers that standardizes commonly used prescription medications by elderly patients being cared for in the home or in a SNF. The formulary also can identify potentially inappropriate drugs for elderly patients. In addition to helping control drug costs, geriatric formularies can improve patient care and optimize clinical outcomes by consistently making the safest and most effective medications available to patients.
NGO's and Hospital Pharmacies Can Leverage Data Analytics: The benefits to hospital and health system pharmacies of using advanced data analytics, or Big Data, to improve their clinical and financial performance. The data-driven insights can help the inpatient pharmacies determine whether specific drugs are being used appropriately and whether lower-cost yet equally effective alternatives are available.
As the solutions identified by the subject-matter experts in the blog posts demonstrate, NGO's, hospitals and health system pharmacies that aggressively use data and assertively think outside the box can respond to the dual pressures to improve outcomes and lower drug spending, substantially adding value to their own organizations and the patients they serve.