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Growing Pharmacy Inventory Management Complexities Increase Hospital Need for Comprehensive, Integrated Solutions

Providers are looking to pharmacy automation to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and tighten inventory control


Orem, Utah – August 10, 2011 – As hospitals across the United States work to enhance patient care, while simultaneously improving their bottom lines, many are finding medication inventory management to be an important focal point. A new report from KLAS, Inventory Management in Pharmacy Automation: Seeking Efficiency in a Complex Process, addresses the question of what part pharmacy automation plays in managing medication inventories and which vendors’ automation systems are helping.

The report addresses pharmacy automation solutions from:

• ABTG

• CareFusion

• Cerner

• McKesson

• Omnicell

• PHACTS

• Swisslog

• Talyst

“Improving drug inventory management processes can have a significant impact by reducing   inventory on hand and losses from expired medications,” said Coray Tate, author of the report.

Most providers surveyed were using their central pharmacy automation software as their primary tool for inventory management. Overall, providers indicated there was room for improvement.  However, Tate stated, “Using automation software was significantly better than manual tracking, and some reported dramatic financial savings after moving from a manual process.”

In addition, many multi-site organizations are looking to leverage their automation software further by centrally managing their inventory on an enterprise basis. However, enterprise inventory management is complex and meeting needs across multiple facilities is not without its challenges.  That said, providers doing enterprise inventory management report it strengthens their buying power and allows them to further consolidate inventory and reduce waste.

While asking more from their central pharmacy automation, providers are also looking to their automated dispensing cabinets to hold and dispense more medications.  The majority of providers surveyed were dispensing at least 75 percent of medications through their cabinets.

Providers reported that formulary database integration, tracking medication expiration dates and lot numbers, and reporting where key areas need improvement. “What it comes down to is this,” noted Tate, “Hospitals need tools to improve their medication inventory management process to help reduce costs. Automation needs to be a big part of the answer, and vendors need to deliver improved solutions to a larger portion of their customer base. Automation may not be able to solve all problems, but it can be a big part of the solution and needs to do better.”

Functionality Gaps: What Needs to Improve?
Functionality Gaps: What Needs to Improve?
“Other” includes canisters; efficiency; simplify; billing; cost; speed; mobile devices; IV tracking; smart pumps;
smaller, odd-size meds; RFID; patient safety; Bio ID; and refrigerated devices.

For more information about the automated pharmacy inventory management, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of measured vendors,Inventory Management in Pharmacy Automation: Seeking Efficiency in a Complex Processis available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase, healthcare providers and vendors can visit www.KLASresearch.com/reports.

About KLAS
KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting on the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS’ mission is to improve delivery by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from more than 4500 hospitals and more than 2500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics that provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, medical equipment, and infrastructure vendors. For more information, go to www.KLASresearch.com, email marketing@KLASresearch.com, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative. Follow KLAS on Twitter at www.twitter.com/KLASresearch.