March 16, 2021

Allegheny Health Network Innovates IV Medication Management Through Robotic Technology

Arpit Mehta
Director of Pharmacy, Allegheny General Hospital

Like many health systems, we at Allegheny Health Network have been challenged by the cost, compliance, and complexity of compounding sterile products (CSPs).

We were highly dependent on purchasing ready-to-use IV medications from 503B vendors. But outsourcing was a huge inventory management issue. Keeping up with demand and shortages hindered our day-to-day operations – namely balancing inventory with immediate needs. And it was costing us about $2.6 million a year.

When our 503B vendor went out of business, we switched to another 503B source, and then that also ended up shutting down operations. In tandem, we were struggling with staffing challenges. Our in-house manual CSP production processes couldn’t keep up with demand.

We recognized the patient safety benefits of IV compounding automation, including IV compounding robotics, but were concerned about staffing this new technology.

Omnicell’s Central Pharmacy Compounding Service offered the holistic solution we needed. Through this turnkey approach, we have the tools, technicians, and the IV compounding robotic technology to support our sterile compounding, and now have better control of CSP production. Bringing production in house has also enabled us to institute sterility and stability testing while establishing best practices for production, quarantine, and recordkeeping.

The operational benefits have been tremendous. We have now automated about 30% of all non-chemo IV preps and extended beyond-use dating, all while saving almost $700,000 in just six months.

I recently shared our experience in establishing an in-house sterile compounding program on The Future of Pharmacy Podcast. Listen today to learn how you can realize the benefits of robotic technology for IV medication management and IV workflow.

DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author(s). These views are always subject to change, revision, and rethinking at any time and may not be held in perpetuity.

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