Why More Hospitals Choose to Buy Versus Build Medication Management Solutions
Senior Director, Product Marketing, Omnicell
The Pharmacy of the Future will be defined by superior medication optimization across the continuum of care. Through digital automation, visibility, intelligence, and actionable insights, the hospital pharmacy will improve business and patient satisfaction.
But the journey to a fully automated pharmacy will require a multilevel technology strategy that transforms how medications flow from central pharmacy, across practice settings, to the point of care – ensuring the right medication reaches the right patient at the right time…with zero errors.
Reaching the goal of the Autonomous Pharmacy is an exciting vision. But for many healthcare organizations the question remains: “How do we get there?” And, more specifically, what are my options for my technology strategy?
Historically, health systems pieced together different solutions, manually tracking medication inventory through paper reports, spreadsheets, EMRs or purchasing systems, but these home-grown solutions were short-term fixes. As demands on the health system continue to grow, such as the focus on patient centricity and better cost management, hospitals are being forced to think about medication management solutions differently.
Healthcare entities must decide how to meet these new demands, while weighing considerations like tight budgets, limited resources, and the ROI of those choices. While some hospitals believe that building medication dispensing solutions and pharmacy management systems internally is the only way to ensure they get what they want, there are a number of challenges in the “build it yourself” model: namely, the lack of industry experience needed to understand and scope a new technology and the operational costs of moving a technical team away from its day-to-day operations.
Increasingly hospitals are realizing that building internally may not make business sense.
The benefits of buying are appealing to health systems. More hospitals are looking at vendors that specialize and focus on solving business problems with pharmacy software. Whether its care management or medication inventory management, you can purchase a software solution built by experts. Even better, many of these software vendors offer their solutions with an “As a Service” model. A subscription-based, off-the-shelf solution with no capital investment developed by experienced industry veterans that come with professional support, a SaaS solution can solve today’s business problems fast, without stretching internal teams.
One particular area of the health system that can benefit from the subscription-based, technology-as-a-service model is Pharmacy. Rather than building, implementing, and operating the technology itself, Pharmacy can rely on dedicated, expertly trained vendor technicians who maintain and upgrade equipment, while improving overall operational efficiency. With a SaaS solution, your pharmacy can be up and running with less effort and financial risk. Plus, with a SaaS model, you are always on the latest release of software – no expensive patches or upgrades to apply.
Pressures for health systems continue to increase, as they are expected to do more with fewer resources while continuing to provide high quality and safe care. But as IT spending nears the $4 trillion mark, including significant growth and adoption of SaaS technology, Pharmacy can now buy vs. build the tools they need to support safer, more efficient medication management.
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.