Case Study: UNC Health Care Standardizes and Centralizes Pharmacy Operations for Better Efficiency

Jenny HarlettBlog

UNC Health Care comprises hospitals around the state of North Carolina, all operating around a Shared Services Center (SSC) in Durham. In a continuing effort to consolidate high-volume, non-clinical activities for better efficiency and patient care, UNC looked to Kit Check to help move pharmacy kit replenishment to the SSC.

Centralizing this process made sense for a hub-and-spoke setup like UNC has. By standardizing their emergency kits and restocking them at the SSC, they were able to reduce both medication errors and staff time spent on these time-consuming, manual tasks.

Standardizing Trays

The first step was to standardize code trays across the seven UNC hospitals that opted to participate. This took dedicated time and effort from clinicians and pharmacists, and required some changes in process.

A dedicated group met over the course of six months to review their current trays and come to a consensus of what each tray should contain, as well as the concentrations and par levels for each medication in the tray.

Centralizing the Process

Once the tray layouts and quantities were decided, UNC turned to centralizing the tray replenishment process.

The first step in converting the hospitals to the central code tray distribution process was to set up the Shared Services Center itself with Kit Check and train the staff there.

At the local level, the SSC and Kit Check ordered the necessary drugs for the new code tray layouts and tagged them with Kit Check RFID tags. Local hospital staff was trained on the new process, which included receiving used trays and shipping them to the SSC. Once there, the trays would be refilled and sealed, then loaded into secure carts and sent via truck back to the local hospitals. This process would occur several times a week for most hospitals (less frequently for lower-volume hospitals.

The new process is a more efficient, cost-effective way to restock and manage the medications in code trays, and the staff at the hospitals have embraced the change in workflow.

This is a very high-level overview of the centralization and standardization effort undertaken by UNC Health Care. You can read the full story in our case study, “UNC Health Care: Standardizing Pharmacy Operations Through Shared Services.” Click the button below to download.
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