Healthcare is technology today.
From the health-monitoring aspects of Apple Watches and smartphones to the electronic health records within health systems themselves, healthcare has firmly become synonymous with technology.
Yet despite this fact, only about 50% of IT projects are successful, when the success of these initiatives is crucial to fostering high-performing organizations.
This is where pharmacy informatics and technology (or PharmIT) can serve a vital role in developing innovative solutions to health system medication-use challenges. Here is a look at what PharmIT is and how it can improve outcomes for hospitals and health systems throughout the country.
What is Pharmacy Informatics and Technology?
PharmIT is a subset of health informatics, and is an umbrella term encompassing everything to do with medication use management, informatics, and health information technology. PharmIT contributes to the transformation of healthcare by analyzing, designing, implementing, maintaining, and evaluating information systems that improve medication-related outcomes.
Why Do Hospitals and Health Systems Need Pharmacy Informatics and Technology?
High-performing pharmacy organizations need a high-performing PharmIT program.
One important aspect of PharmIT is analytics. Health systems not only need more data and information – they also need to be able to aggregate and visualize it to determine the best way forward.
When organizations are looking to implement a new service like home infusion or specialty pharmacy, technology needs to serve as the backbone of those initiatives in order for them to work to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, the internal IT services for many health systems are stretched thin, with 80-90% of their time being dedicated to maintenance. This leaves minimal time for new projects.
PharmIT – specifically when leveraged through an expert partner like Visante – can help make up for this lack of time and resources by focusing on three key areas: applications, automation, and analytics.
Applications within PharmIT can be described as any software program used to help achieve the clinical, operational, financial, or safety goals of the health system. Electronic health records are a great example, serving as the main application or operating system (OS) of a given hospital.
PharmIT can also help hospitals and health systems automate repetitive tasks and free up time by making previously menial tasks much more efficient. This allows clinicians to practice at the top of their license rather than focusing on time-consuming and repetitive work.
We live in a world of data overload, with too much information and not enough time to review it and use it to inform decision-making. Analytics helps bridge this gap to make better decisions in a fraction of the time. PharmIT is an invaluable tool for helping aggregate info, visualize it, and then utilize it to make decisions.
Beyond the three key areas of PharmIT is the technology itself, which can be described as anything used to deliver patient care within an organization. One example is smart IV pumps, which are a piece of technology with an application. In this case, the technology itself is used to make it safer and more efficient for nurses to provide care.
People, Processes, and Outcomes
It is important to note that applications, automation, and analytics are only one side of the equation when it comes to PharmIT. To maximize impact, we also have to focus on the people, processes, and outcomes of a given technology.
Here are some of the key questions to ask in regard to how technology will impact your health system.
- Do we have the right people in place to use, maintain, and optimize this technology?
- What is their skillset?
- Will we save time by implementing this technology?
- How will we utilize this technology?
- What are the preferred workflows?
- What are the policies and procedures we need to put in place to utilize this technology to its highest benefit?
- Why are we utilizing this technology?
- What are we hoping this technology will help us achieve?
- Does this technology align with the tactical and strategic objectives of the organization?
Experience the Full Potential of PharmIT with Visante
Visante has acquired The Robertson Group (TRG) to add pharmacy informatics and technology to its service line. Together, we help clients optimize clinical systems to provide safe, effective, and efficient patient care. Our goal is to transform healthcare through pharmacy practice.
To do this, we must transform the technology solutions that will help us get there. We optimize solutions to make sure our clients are getting best and most effective use of them. We make sure these solutions are safe, effective, efficient, economical, and that they will help health systems achieve their tactical and strategic objectives.