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June 01, 2022

Inventory Visibility helps Saint Luke's Health System

Mia Cawley
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Intelligence Solutions, Omnicell

Donna Olszewski
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Intelligence Solutions, Omnicell

While medication shortages are not new, COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem, shining a light on the need for better pharmacy supply chain visibility. An ASHP tracking database shows that more than 200 drugs are currently in shortage. Now more than ever, health system pharmacy needs to leverage technology to help manage this continuing challenge.

Saint Luke's Health System is an example of a comprehensive technology strategy improving their pharmacy operations and enhancing patient care. The Kansas City, Mo., health system monitored 150 drug shortages each week and actively counted 30 to 40 critical medications at a time. Purchasers and technicians were relying on spreadsheets to monitor stock across the system. They lacked a standardized data set for customers and other employees to use when determining where medicines were stored, resulting in time-consuming and costly manual processes.

As the Saint Luke's system expanded through acquisitions, it became more pertinent to standardize practices and improve communications.

As part of a multidimensional approach to medication inventory management, Saint Luke's chose Omnicell intelligence solutions and services. Their goal was to reduce expired medication expenses and encourage sharing of low-volume medications throughout the healthcare system. Pharmacy leaders focused on par-level management because 20 percent of inventory accounted for 80 percent of drug expenditures.

The objective was to replace the manual “sticker” system with a digitized central pharmacy inventory process and automate their medication inventory management. Utilization data was expanded to determine the usage of medications across the hospital system.

Omnicell's intelligence solutions generated both immediate and long-term benefits, including:

  • Inventory reduction
  • Improved processes
  • Reduced drug inventory by 12 percent systemwide
  • Decreased expired medications
  • Assisted in reducing drug waste by $20,000 per month
  • Now processing over 1,000-line items per month

By partnering with Omnicell, Saint Luke's is closer to realizing its goal of digitizing medication inventory and improving visibility across all locations. In the future, they plan to automate reporting of soon-to-expire medications and will develop a centralized distribution center for their entire health system.

With Omnicell intelligence solutions, you too can manage hospital inventory and reduce drug diversion through analytics dashboards, workflow optimization, and expert guidance from Omnicell One clinical strategists. To discover how visibility and insights can enhance pharmacy supply chain management for your health system, please visit Omnicell Intelligence.

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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.