Establishing and maintaining a robust and efficient pharmacy supply chain and effectively managing drug utilization can be stressful and demanding tasks for pharmacy leaders and staff, but doing so successfully can drive value for the organization through reduced drug cost, standardization of processes, improved medication safety and mitigation of the impact of drug shortages.
Here is a closer look at the primary supply chain challenges facing pharmacies for 2022 and how key decision-makers can go about optimizing for future success.
Challenge 1: Managing pharmacy supply chain across multiple software and vendor platforms
Within today’s industry landscape, many pharmacy leaders are required to manage supply chain data across several different software systems, from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and electronic medical record (EMR) systems to automation vendor platforms and beyond. Efficiently and accurately maintaining data across multiple platforms requires an abundance of focus and the right resources in terms of both people and systems. For 2022, a lack of resources can pose a significant roadblock for organizations looking to optimize their pharmacy supply chain.
Challenge 2: Managing day-to-day tasks
Apart from the longer-term challenges posed by utilizing various software platforms, day-to-day tasks also represent a key challenge for pharmacy operations. Such tasks can include:
- Ensuring efficient processes for ordering and managing medication supplies are working as designed
- Managing inventory across multiple locations
- Ensuring order-to-pay processes are optimized and that payment to vendors is being issued in a timely fashion to maximize discounts
- Ensuring you are paying the right price for medications across all vendor accounts and sites of care
These shorter-term tasks may seem minor at first glance, but they can have a tremendous impact on the overall performance of your pharmacy supply chain.
Challenge 3: Focusing time on strategic programs that enhance the value of pharmacy supply chain
While a focus on day-to-day operations is important, developing strategic programs is also a great way to drive value for your pharmacy. By implementing a strategic sourcing program to focus on areas of opportunity and building relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers, you can significantly enhance the value of your supply chain in the short and long term.
Challenge 4: Navigating drug shortages
Drug shortages are an issue that has always been present but that has grown increasingly urgent in recent years and will again be a major concern in 2022. Primary causes of drug shortages include:
- The FDA inspecting and shutting down manufacturing plants
- Manufacturers deciding to discontinue production of a line of drugs
- Manufacturers being unable to acquire critical materials such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or other supplies due to global supply chain shortages
When it comes to overcoming drug shortages, making a continued effort to stay informed on global news and trends and gathering as much information as possible is a great place to start. From there, having a proactive plan in place to effectively manage drug shortage challenges is an essential next step. It’s important to remember that while you can’t control drug shortages, you can successfully mitigate their effects if you’re properly prepared.
Defined resources for drug shortage management should be a specific line item in your pharmacy’s budget. It’s important to also ensure appropriate staffing to help manage new and ongoing drug shortages, which various types of software can also help monitor.
Optimize pharmacy supply chain with the use of external resources
All health systems have the opportunity to derive value through their pharmacy supply chains, and the use of external resources like Visante can help augment internal resources and skillsets that may be in short supply. We work with health system pharmacy departments to optimize:
- Data usage
- Order-to-pay processes
- Strategic sourcing programs that focus on finding value
- And more
Our consulting services start with an assessment and proceed with hands-on implementation support for our customized recommendations.
We also specialize in helping justify, design, and build Consolidated Pharmacy Services Centers (CPSCs), which help expanding hospital systems deliver higher levels of patient care while driving improved efficiency, cost savings and revenue growth.
CPSCs also provide the ability to centralize many elements of the pharmacy enterprise that are performed redundantly across multi-hospital systems, including pharmacy supply chain, sterile and non-sterile compounding, repackaging, specialty pharmacy and home infusion services, and more.
Visante’s pharmacy supply chain experts help hospitals and health systems achieve reliable, safe, and efficient drug supply chain performance while also realizing significant financial returns. Our drug supply and utilization management strategies lead to:
- Lower drug expense
- Improved labor efficiency
- Reduced on-hand inventory
- Less waste
- And more
Contact us anytime for a discussion on optimizing your pharmacy supply chain for improved performance.