Waste within a hospital pharmacy can mean the difference between a blown budget or staying on track. Pharmacy managers usually attribute waste to common reasons like errors, mix-ups and medications lost in transit to the floors. But did you know that there are 8 possible sources of waste in a pharmacy operation?
- Overproduction – too much or too soon
- Intellect – poor utilization of people’s talents
- Motion – any that does not add value
- Rework – correcting errors
- Processing – unnecessary steps
- Waiting – no added value
- Inventory – maintaining surplus
- Transportation – any non-essential transport
In pharmacy, we rarely closely analyze processes when identifying solutions to operational problems. In fact, when trying to reduce waste, many times the proposed solution is to throw more techs at a process or just "try to do it faster."
Pharmacies that have taken a lean approach by looking at the entire process stream to find all aspects that don’t provide value have seen dramatic improvements. One example comes from the IHI website, where the Cancer Treatment Centers of America reports they decreased turnaround time for their infusion centers’ chemotherapy preparation by 20 percent, while decreasing the number of steps in the process by 50 percent.
A medication tracking and process management system provides immediate insight to sources of waste inside your organization. With real-time tracking, you can easily spot bottle-necks in the process, or "problem times" during the shifts where staffing can be adjusted to meet need. Watch our video to learn more.
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