Hospital pharmacists make hundreds of decisions every day for their patients. They rely on their training, tools and data to ensure this is done right. But when it comes to making decisions regarding medication inventory, they are in the dark without any data to guide them. Access to medication usage data is crucial for decisions impacting cost reduction and operational efficiency. Sometimes, one simple change can save a hospital thousands of dollars, but identifying that change eludes pharmacy leaders because they lack basic operational data.
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Edward Hospital immediately understood that Kit Check exposed operational data around medication usage for the first time. This led directly to identifying some changes to pharmacy kit inventory par levels that had a big impact on cost reduction . “We had not re-visited the question as to why par levels were set, and we had not asked the question, ‘Do these items need to be in a particular tray or kit?’” said Huzefa Raja, the OR Pharmacy Supervisor at Edward Hospital. The pharmacy staff acknowledged that some of its pharmacy kits were bulky and overstocked, particularly the ten Open Heart Boxes in circulation.
Reducing Inventory with Analytics
Using Kit Check Analytics, Edward Hospital was able to see that over 75 dispatches only 18.3 of the 85 medications stocked in an Open Heart Box were used. The analytics dashboard also enabled the hospital to drill-down into each drug’s par-level within the box to see both average and maximum historical usage for each medication. The hospital pharmacy and cardiovascular anesthesia staff were then able to make data-driven decisions about the appropriate inventory levels for Open Heart Boxes.
The result was dramatic. Edward hospital reduced Open Heart Box inventory by 25%, from 85 to 64 items using the data from Kit Check Analytics. That translated into a savings of $900 – $1,000 per kit for a total of savings of $10,000 for just one kit type. The bulk of these savings stemmed from one small decision – removing one vial of Nitroprusside Sodium from each kit.
“We are going to continue to use the analytics to look at all tray inventory. I think having the data is a great way to start the conversation about optimizing what truly needs to be in kits.”Huzefa Raja, OR Pharmacy Supervisor, PharmD., Edward Hospital
Cutting Costs, One Decision at a Time
Other hospitals are also utilizing the data provided by Kit Check Analytics to streamline their pharmacy kit inventory. The University of Michigan pharmacy staff believed there were certain drugs that were not often used, but had little data to prove their instincts were correct. “People don’t like to go by perception. They like data. We were able to use hard data to show this [drug] had not been used in years and we took it to our CPR committee and had it removed,” said Dianne Shoemaker, the Pharmacy Technician Coordinator at University of Michigan.
Scripps Health is another hospital utilizing Kit Check Analytics today. By accessing the actual medication use data, the pharmacy department is able to work with the pharmacy and therapeutics committee to reduce the inventory in its emergency drug trays. It is also using the Multi-Site reporting feature to standardize how kits are stocked across the five hospitals in the Scripps system.
Kit Check Analytics provides the hard data hospital pharmacies need to make educated decisions to reduce kit inventory and cut medication costs. This data also helps to streamline the decision-making process across departments, which led to a positive impact on staff satisfaction at Edward Hospital. “I think having this data is a great way to start the conversation about optimizing what truly needs to be in kits…The feedback from the CVOR anesthesia staff was very positive. We now have the ability to make suggestions with hard data behind it to justify our reasons,” commented Raja.