For many hospital systems, pharmacy is an undervalued resource, and one that typically does not receive the right level of investment to achieve optimal success. While recognizing this undervaluation and underutilization is an important first step, determining which steps to take to unlock the potential behind your hospital pharmacy program can be a much more challenging endeavor.
In these instances, a hospital pharmacy assessment can serve as an invaluable initiative toward transforming this essential component of your operation in the short and long term. Here is a closer look at what a hospital pharmacy assessment is and the key advantages it can provide within optimizing your organization.
What is a hospital pharmacy assessment?
A hospital pharmacy assessment – also often referred to as pharmacy performance optimization – is a comprehensive evaluation of all moving parts within your pharmacy department. Once complete, the evaluation is used to lead an implementation strategy that can improve patient care and your bottom line.
A hospital pharmacy assessment includes:
- A complete evaluation of your current business and programs
- Opportunity identification for safety, clinical, operational, regulatory, and financial improvements, including:
- Pharmacy Revenue Cycle performance
- Specialty and retail pharmacy growth
- 340B program optimization
- Drug supply chain utilization
- Infusion therapy and site of care growth strategies
- Employee pharmacy benefit program redesign
- Sterile compounding compliance
- Pharmacy leadership alignment and performance
- Strategic planning support based on identified opportunities
- Program enhancement design and implementation
In Visante’s execution of this process, we frame our work around eight primary questions and considerations.
Are all entrepreneurial opportunities being explored and leveraged?
For most organizations, areas like retail pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, infusion pharmacy, and pharmacy benefit management can represent many millions of dollars in additional revenue and margin when properly optimized.
Is the organization optimizing investment in pharmaceuticals by buying drugs at the best possible advantage?
Pharmaceuticals currently represent the fastest-growing element of U.S. healthcare spend (currently over 18% of U.S. healthcare dollar), with healthcare spending on prescription drugs as a whole exceeding half a trillion dollars annually. This makes it critical for organizations to ensure they have an effective strategy in place for buying pharmaceuticals at the best possible advantage.
Are business practices and principles sound and well organized?
We like to look at pharmacy service lines as individual businesses within the context of each larger organization. It is rare to find hospitals and health systems that have invested in the infrastructure and analytics needed to support a business of that size. We take a critical look to ensure that investment is optimized and that visibility into pharmacy operations is well established.
Are pharmacy revenue cycle processes sound, optimized, and properly managed?
We often find a significant disconnect between pharmacy and revenue cycle operations leading to millions in avoidable write-offs, and aim to create a more robust interface between the two parties to help ensure all available charges due are optimized and collected.
Are all supplies, drugs, and personnel appropriately optimized?
There are tremendous opportunities with business practices in this area with regard to inventory management, waste reduction, and personnel. Assessing personnel starts with volume, efficiency, and outcomes. Are you producing what you hope to produce given the volume and efficiency present?
Is medication therapy optimized?
Medications represent the primary treatment modality for over 85% of patients in any healthcare organization, yet it is estimated that in the U.S. we waste over $290 billion on ineffective medication therapy. Working to ensure your investments in clinical pharmacy services are optimized is critically important to improving outcomes for our patients and for your organizations’ bottom lines.
Are we taking steps to reduce medical error and to improve patient safety?
Medications are the primary contributor to medical error in the U.S. Having the right processes and personnel in place to minimize this risk is extremely important for patients and organizations.
Are regulatory compliance and risk reduction being properly prioritized?
Hospitals’ control of narcotics and other controlled substances has come under increased scrutiny in recent years, with multimillion dollar fines potentially coming into play. FDA and United States Pharmacopeia standards for sterile compounding continue to increase and HRSA oversight of 340B compliance continues to escalate creating additional program risk. Having a strategy to proactively optimize and reduce risk in these areas is essential.
Is 340B performance optimized by addressing clinic strategies to elevate savings?
340B program compliance is essential to high-performing pharmacy and to making sure patients receive their medications in an affordable manner. Our work serves to identify and optimize opportunities to streamline the 340B program, elevate operations among clinics, and ensure smooth transitions to elevate financial performance.
Benefits of a hospital pharmacy assessment
From early opportunity identification through strategic planning and implementation, there are numerous benefits pharmacy performance optimization can help uncover throughout the process.
Key benefits of a hospital pharmacy assessment include:
- Revenue and margin growth
- Reduced costs
- Improved patient care and safety
- Regulatory compliance
- Streamlined operational efficiency
- Improved nurse and physician efficiency and retention
Optimize your pharmacy business opportunity with help from Visante
At Visante, we put our industry-best experience and knowledge to work to help build high-performing pharmacy programs best-suited to each of our clients’ individual needs – and we are ready to do the same for you. We listen and work closely with you throughout the assessment process to ensure support of your objectives and delivery of a personalized plan that can manifest optimal growth. Our team also stands at the ready to facilitate smooth implementation of our recommendations, so you can experience more successful and effective business practices today and tomorrow.
Contact us today to begin optimizing your pharmacy program through hands-on, personalized support.