Federal 340B Ruling Underscores Need for Balanced Pharmacy Program

How did Atrium Health Wake Forest Lower Carrying Costs and Increase ADC Dispense Percentage?

Katelyn Erickson
Product Marketing Manager – Inventory Optimization Service

It's harder than it’s ever been.

As pharmacy leaders continue to navigate medication management challenges – including drug shortages, labor issues, and regulatory compliance, just to name a few – they are also under considerable pressure to reduce costs while delivering enhanced patient outcomes.

But when you can see into medication inventory to identify opportunities to optimize medication management, you have the key to enhance clinical and business outcomes as well as improve efficiency by reducing medication waste, expirations, stockouts, and shortages.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in North Carolina took those challenges head on.

The health system recently established a cross-functional team to improve outcomes by optimizing automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) inventory across the health system. The focus was to balance inventory costs with the added workload of frequent restocks. Through their ADC improvement efforts, the site was able to:

  • Lower inventory carrying costs by over $300k in one year
  • Increase ADC dispense percentage by 8%

A Cross-Functional Approach to Optimize Pharmacy Inventory Management

As part of a multi-tiered approach, the pharmacy team partnered with clinical teams to determine which medications were required in each ADC. From there, the operations manager reviewed and approved recommended changes. Lastly, the pharmacy automation analyst assisted by updating cabinet inventory levels. Monthly stockout reviews and quarterly cabinet assessments were established to measure results and to ensure ongoing improvements.

Prescriptive Analytics Reduced Time Spent to Support Optimization Decisions

Several key technology platforms were utilized to support decision-making and enhance these optimization efforts. Initially, an ADC stockout dashboard was created to identify units and medications with the highest rate of stockouts. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist eventually selected Omnicell’s Inventory Optimization Service, a cloud-based inventory management insight delivery and consultative solution, to best support their efforts. This technology-enabled service combines inventory visibility, predictive analytics, and clinical expertise to identify opportunities to right-size inventory, providing near real-time dashboards, and decision support to drive key pharmacy performance metrics like stockouts and inventory turns.

The usage trend data and optimization opportunities provided by the software, supported by a dedicated clinical strategist, allowed for an in-depth analysis that would previously have required compiling multiple, time-consuming reports.

By partnering with Omnicell, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is closer to realizing the goal of continuous ADC improvement. The journey began with small changes but has since evolved to meet individual unit needs and maximize operational efficiency. Read more about their journey to inventory optimization in this recent case study.

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