ASHP’s Pharmacy Forecast 2013-2017 had some interesting thoughts on the impact of technology on hospital pharmacy over the next five years:
"The majority of Forecast Panelists (FPs) predict that it is at least somewhat likely that 50% of hospitals will achieve ‘essentially perfect accuracy’ in the medication use process through the application of integrated, comprehensive IT." and "…38% of FPs doubt that in the next five years technology will substantially reduce the amount of time devoted to routine management of the medication-use process."
So… these futurists believe technology will help the medication use process become more accurate, but not save time on routine management?
It’s true that with robotics and automated compounders, pharmacy may have squeezed all of the time savings from medication preparation. But there’s still a wide variation in medication delivery or tunraround times. While technology may not solve this problem directly, the analytics provided by technology can give insights to drive new processes and improve human workflows to save time.
For example, a recent study published in the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy compared work shifts, because they knew the morning shift was busy, but were unsure of the workload later in the day. The researchers found that "nearly one third of the total work done was during the afternoon shift, while the staff was reduced to approximately 10%."
Do you know when your pharmacy staff is overburdened and when their load is light?
Do you know when your medication delivery times are running slow and when they are at their peak?
Some of our clients have used the data from our medication tracking system to modify their delivery models enabling more efficient workflow and delivery. Others have used the data to level workload throughout a shift, reducing chances of med errors during times that were previously over-burdened. Time savings are there, if you only have a systematic and reliable way to find them.
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