Baptist Memorial realizes safety, quality, and savings by insourcing sterile compounding

IV robotics technology helped Baptist Memorial Health Care stabilize its supply chain for compounded sterile products, increasing patient safety, improving pharmacy efficiency, and generating a positive ROI in less than 10 months.

The Challenge

Baptist Memorial Health Care serves a diverse patient population across 22 hospitals and hundreds of clinics across three states. Its flagship facility is the 706-bed Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. 

The health system relied on 503B vendors to provide pre-mixed compounded sterile products (CSPs) to supplement each facility’s manual compounding operations. But tightening 503B supplier allocations, product shortages, and pricing fluctuations put pressure on pharmacy staff and on its budget.

Baptist Memorial sought to regain control of its CSP supply chain in order to:

  • Enhance patient safety 
  • Establish control over quality  
  • Generate cost savings  
  • Improve operational efficiency 

Baptist Memorial Health Care serves a diverse patient population across 22 hospitals and hundreds of clinics across three states. Its flagship facility is the 706-bed Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. 

The health system relied on 503B vendors to provide pre-mixed compounded sterile products (CSPs) to supplement each facility’s manual compounding operations. But tightening 503B supplier allocations, product shortages, and pricing fluctuations put pressure on pharmacy staff and on its budget.

Baptist Memorial sought to regain control of its CSP supply chain in order to:

  • Enhance patient safety 
  • Establish control over quality  
  • Generate cost savings  
  • Improve operational efficiency 

The Solution

Activated Solutions 

i.v.STATION Non-hazardous Compounding Robot 

To achieve these goals, pharmacy leaders sought a holistic, systematic approach to sterile compounding.

They established Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis as a centralized hub and installed an i.v.STATION™ Non-hazardous Compounding robot to provide the flagship and nine other hospitals with regular shipments of pre-mixed compounded sterile products.

Pharmacy leaders also instituted:

  • Sterility testing   
  • Stability testing 
  • Operational best practices for CSP production, quarantine, and shipment 

Within a short time, the pharmacy was operating two shifts per day, producing batches of 11 different products, and generating on average 5,000 products shipped to the 10 hospitals. Immediate benefits included:   

  • Enhanced patient safety 
  • Reduced IV medication costs 
  • Improved efficiency 
  • Control over quality and quantity of IV dose preparation 

Activated Solutions 

i.v.STATION Non-hazardous Compounding Robot 

To achieve these goals, pharmacy leaders sought a holistic, systematic approach to sterile compounding.

They established Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis as a centralized hub and installed an i.v.STATION™ Non-hazardous Compounding robot to provide the flagship and nine other hospitals with regular shipments of pre-mixed compounded sterile products.

Pharmacy leaders also instituted:

  • Sterility testing   
  • Stability testing 
  • Operational best practices for CSP production, quarantine, and shipment 

Within a short time, the pharmacy was operating two shifts per day, producing batches of 11 different products, and generating on average 5,000 products shipped to the 10 hospitals. Immediate benefits included:   

  • Enhanced patient safety 
  • Reduced IV medication costs 
  • Improved efficiency 
  • Control over quality and quantity of IV dose preparation 

Better Shortage Management, Fewer Patient Transfers    

The centralized distribution model has received positive reviews all around.  

Pharmacies at each of the 10 hospitals receive Amazon-like automatic shipments of extended-shelf-life products based on previous and anticipated demand. ORs and nurses have direct access to ready-to-administer syringes and other CSP products from nearby Omnicell® XT Automated Dispensing Cabinets.  

“The ORs love that we provide ready-to-administer syringes stocked in the Omnicell XT cabinets and available for them to use on demand,” said Sarah Paulk, lead pharmacist for automation systems. “It’s a much safer and more efficient process.” 

Hospitals without 24-hour pharmacies can minimize medications being drawn up in the OR and at the patient’s bedside to avoid potential safety, sterility, and waste issues. 

The centralized distribution model has received positive reviews all around.  

Pharmacies at each of the 10 hospitals receive Amazon-like automatic shipments of extended-shelf-life products based on previous and anticipated demand. ORs and nurses have direct access to ready-to-administer syringes and other CSP products from nearby Omnicell® XT Automated Dispensing Cabinets.  

“The ORs love that we provide ready-to-administer syringes stocked in the Omnicell XT cabinets and available for them to use on demand,” said Sarah Paulk, lead pharmacist for automation systems. “It’s a much safer and more efficient process.” 

Hospitals without 24-hour pharmacies can minimize medications being drawn up in the OR and at the patient’s bedside to avoid potential safety, sterility, and waste issues. 

Seeking Continued Impact with Technology, Process, and People  

Pharmacy leaders are exploring additional avenues for continual improvement and organizational impact. This includes: 

  • Adding a second IV robot to further increase safety savings while reducing dependencies on manual compounding and 503B suppliers  
  • Taking on their own stability study program in order to extend the shelf life of commonly used items 
  • Expanding pharmacy technician training to formalize quality assurance and best practices, while also providing career pathways for those demonstrating core competencies for success 

Pharmacy leaders are exploring additional avenues for continual improvement and organizational impact. This includes: 

  • Adding a second IV robot to further increase safety savings while reducing dependencies on manual compounding and 503B suppliers  
  • Taking on their own stability study program in order to extend the shelf life of commonly used items 
  • Expanding pharmacy technician training to formalize quality assurance and best practices, while also providing career pathways for those demonstrating core competencies for success 

The Impact

Key Outcomes:

  • Realized $272K savings in first 15 months
  • Achieved ROI in less than 10 months 
  • Instituted quality control measures
  • Increased staff satisfaction 
  • Extended BUD (beyond-use dating)

Customer Benefits:

    • Centralized CSP production for 10 hospitals  
    • Reduced supply chain interruptions 
    • Improved efficiency across the health system 
    • Enhanced medication safety 

    "Since adding the i.v.STATION™ robot and centralizing CSP production, we have less reliance on outsourcers and have received positive feedback from our hospitals. It’s been a great benefit for our hospitals and for our organization. "

    Sarah Paulk, Pharmacy Manager of Automation and Informatics, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis

    "When elective surgeries decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was less demand for the OR syringes we produced. But we quickly flexed i.v.STATION production to other items needed for a sicker population."

    Sarah Paulk, Pharmacy Manager of Automation and Informatics, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis

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