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September 09, 2020

The Vision for Pharmacy Intelligence Is Now a Reality

Jim Garretson 
Vice President of Platform and Omnicell One, Omnicell

Could you imagine having complete visibility across your pharmacy operation? For instance, the ability to track medication – from the loading dock to the nurse’s glove – through a combination of cloud-based intelligence, analytics, machine learning, and AI.

What if critical operational data, such as med inventory, transactions, adherence, and diversion, could be reviewed in pristine visual graphs with model simulations that allowed you to see gaps in your operation and predict future medication-related outcomes?

With this sort of intelligence, you could apply Lean Six Sigma processes to reduce inefficiency, drive quality, and support flexibility in your medication fulfillment process. And you could dig in even further and recommend to your CFO ways to streamline and optimize your processes with detailed analytics.

For pharmacists and healthcare CFOs, this is incredibly exciting stuff because embedded intelligence – with the operational visibility and predictive analytics it brings – is the solution the pharmacy needs.

A recent study found 60 percent of pharmacists manage upwards of 20 medication shortages at a time. And over 72 percent of respondents calculated spending upwards of 15 staff hours to reconcile each medication shortage. To succeed, Pharmacy needs greater visibility across the entire operation, supply chain, and continuum of care – and it all starts with clear, real-time insight into your medication inventory.

That’s why health systems are adopting cloud-based pharmacy intelligence solutions – like Omnicell One – to gain access to critically important, real-time daily insights. The ability to have information at your fingertips, such as on-hand inventory by location, as well as forecast potential inventory issues and diversion risks – all supports better clinical and operational results, while helping to increase patient and staff satisfaction. 

Many healthcare organizations, such as Stormont Vail Regional Health, are realizing the benefits of pharmacy intelligence and how it’s accelerating strategic business goals. “From a pharmacy automation and technology standpoint, to be successful we need all of our key centers tied together on one enterprise database and represented through analytics on a management dashboard,” says Dima Awad, Administrative Director and Chief of Pharmacy Services at Stormont Vail Regional Health. “Our goal is to make our patients safer and to control drug spend.”

Like Stormont Vail, many healthcare organizations – after laying the groundwork of a robust pharmacy automation footprint – now look to maximize their technology investment by embedding pharmacy intelligence and predictive analytics to drive superior operational excellence. Intelligence is ushering in a new way of thinking about every dose of medication as a node on the network that carries valuable data about patients, inventory, and more. Applying intelligence to this data converts this information into actionable opportunities to solve problems and drive pharmacy operations forward. 

And CFOs are also seeing the financial benefits of pharmacy intelligence, especially the ability to finetune the operation and close gaps to improve outcomes, cut costs and reduce risk.   Pharmacy intelligence and data analytics not only enhance visibility but enable Pharmacy to forecast risks, bottlenecks, and cost implications before they grow into larger medication management problems, ultimately helping to support better patient care, lower costs, and making the zero-error pharmacy a reality.

To learn more about the power of intelligence, watch a recording from a recent webinar in which Dima Awad and I discuss progressive strategies to improve visibility and optimize medication inventory across dynamic health systems. We share insights and best practices about:

  • Advantages of managing inventory through visibility
  • Insights and workflow optimization
  • Benefits of leveraging a technology enabled service in the medication management process

Click here to watch and learn more.


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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