McKesson Pharma Inventory System Helps Hospitals Curb Costs

The RightStock inventory management system is designed to help medical staff optimize treatment supplies, prevent stock-outs and minimize waste.

ATLANTA--Hospital pharmacies across the U.S. are transforming their operations using McKesson’s pharmacy automation solutions, including its new, one-of-a-kind RightStock inventory management feature. Exclusive to McKesson’s AcuDose-Rx medication dispensing cabinets, RightStock’s unique “set it and forget it” features optimize inventory for each cabinet automatically on a daily basis, preventing costly medication stock outs and minimizing waste. With this market-leading functionality, pharmacists gain far greater control over inventory management and can help ensure that the medications nurses need are always available. Several hospitals are already reaping the benefits, including significant cost reductions, improved medication availability and greatly enhanced workflow.

Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio has achieved a 70% reduction in medication stock outs since implementing the RightStock feature in its pharmacy. The software automatically monitors and adjusts medication levels based on usage. It also dramatically reduces the time needed for pharmacists to analyze reports and make inventory decisions.

Using RightStock, Aultman stabilized its narcotic restocking and tracking by automating the ordering process and updating inventory. Pharmacists have significantly reduced time spent processing paperwork. In addition, the reduced stock out rate for narcotics alone is expected to translate into nearly $30,000 per year in savings on pharmacy technician labor.

“With the new RightStock inventory management feature, we can dynamically adjust inventory levels to the ideal amount for each medication cabinet,” said James Toohey, director of pharmacy at Aultman Hospital. “The information and control we get with the system lets us better manage the amount of high-value medications stocked in each cabinet.”

Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center (formerly MCGHealth) in Augusta, Ga. and Advocate Lutheran General in Park Ridge, Ill. are using other inventory management features from McKesson to drive improvements in their medication distribution process. Georgia Health Sciences’ pharmacy has leveraged McKesson’s carousel and cabinet inventory control functionality to increase inventory turns by 3.5 while reducing inventory carrying costs – which is counterintuitive to standard practice. Flexing inventory to meet a patient’s length-of-stay needs ensures the medication is available on the nursing unit, while significantly reducing time spent delivering medications. The hospital’s pharmacy also has improved turnaround time for medication orders, with routine orders being turned around in less than 90 minutes from order entry to delivery, and less than 15 minutes for stat orders.

“Our philosophy is ‘touch the medication once’,” said Tad Gomez, director of pharmacy and pharmacy residency programs at Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center. “We can place the right amount of inventory in the right location at the right time without duplicating effort, and our nurses know that the medications they need will be in the cabinet for the length of the patient’s stay.”

Advocate Lutheran General has used McKesson’s carousel and reporting functions to significantly improve pharmacy picking accuracy, resulting in an increase in inventory turns to 14 per year. This not only improves the pharmacy’s service to staff and patients, but also eliminates duplication and contributes to greater accountability and cost effectiveness. As a result, less money is tied up in inventory.

“Optimization reports and recommendations help us evaluate the adjustments we make, so we’re putting the right amount of inventory in the right places,” said John Falkenholm, pharmacy manager. “We’re making decisions based on more than intuition, so we’re not just filling the shelves with product.”

McKesson’s automation solutions streamline the entire medication delivery process, from the distributor through the pharmacy and to the nursing unit, to ensure patients get the medications they need faster and more accurately.

“With pharmacy inventory representing 25% of the average hospital’s total inventory value, pharmacy leaders face increasing challenges to contain costs while balancing patient safety and accuracy,” said Kraig McEwen, president, McKesson Automation. “With our pharmacy automation solutions, McKesson is enabling better business health for hospitals by supporting their efforts to satisfy the needs of patients and clinicians while optimizing medication inventory.”

Learn more about ways McKesson’s full suite of automation solutions are helping hospital pharmacies manage intelligent inventory control, support patient care and safety, and enhance operational efficiency through the Achieving Better Medication Management webinar series. Register today at http://mckesson.cvent.com/event/BetterMedManagement.

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 15th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. We partner with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services.

About Aultman Hospital

Aultman Health Foundation is a not-for-profit health care organization serving Stark and surrounding counties. The vertically integrated institution includes Aultman Hospital, the locally managed health-insurance provider AultCare and the Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences. With 808 beds, 575 active physicians and a staff of nearly 5,000 employees, Aultman is Stark County’s largest hospital and employer. For more information, visit www.aultman.org.

About Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center

The 478-bed Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center is operated by the Georgia Health Sciences Health System, a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations of Georgia Health Sciences University. The health system also includes a Critical Care Center, housing the region’s only Level I trauma center; the 154-bed Children’s Medical Center, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care; and more than 80 outpatient clinics that provide primary and specialty care inside the Medical Office Building.

About Advocate Lutheran General

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Illinois, is a tertiary care, academic and research hospital, and the only Level I trauma center in the northwest suburban region of Chicago. It was founded in Chicago in 1897, and celebrated its 50th year at its Park Ridge location in 2009. Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital is one of the most comprehensive providers of pediatric care in the state. It is the only children’s hospital in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago, a Level III perinatal center (the highest designation) and a Pediatric Critical Care Center. The children’s hospital serves as a major Midwest referral center for infants and children, especially for complex illnesses and chronic conditions. The hospitals are part of Advocate Health Care, which is the largest health care provider in Illinois and one of the nation’s top health care systems.

Source: McKesson Corp. via Business Wire

 

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