Leveraging analytics to improve connected medication management process efficiencies

| July 12, 2021

By Odelia Genevieve– HIMSS Market Intelligence conducted two benchmarking studies at the end of 2019 and a BD-sponsored follow-up study at the end of 2020 to examine how connected drug management is changing overall drug management. The results of the 2020 survey *, titled Transforming Medication Management: Insights on Connected Medication Management, made it clear that the 50% of hospitals and healthcare systems that were ranked in the bottom two categories on a scale of 1 to 4 were performance of connected drug management, benefit from focusing on improving process efficiency. 1


For many of these organizations, however, the exact procedure is far more obscure.

“Organization leaders need to understand if there are gaps in the drug management process and where there are opportunities for improvement,” said Anna Schoenbaum, DNP, RN, assistant vice president, information systems, Penn Medicine. “For example, it’s really important to understand that your company is doing well in sales but may need to improve output or lead times. If you rely on metrics at every point in the process, you can see where there is room for improvement. “

But here’s the unfortunate catch: Analytics stumble upon many health organizations as they strive to move forward. In fact, according to the 2019 survey, only 38% of respondents strongly agree that their companies are increasing the ability to standardize and normalize data to enable analytics, while 50% only somewhat agree and 11% disagree.

Standardizing and normalizing data is one way for healthcare organizations to obtain the high quality data needed to support networked drug management analysis. In addition, hospital and health system leaders should strive to:

Understand the purpose behind the data. Reporting medication failures or near misses – events that either led or could have had negative consequences – can potentially help hospitals and healthcare systems identify system design issues. However, when collecting this data, it is important to understand exactly how the information will be used. This enables healthcare executives to determine which data items to include, such as: For example, the time of day, the role of the physician who administered the drug, and the product number of the drug.

Give doctors quick access to actionable data. “Clinics don’t want to wait long trying to address a problem. However, sometimes it takes so many months before they get useful data that they have already faced other challenges by the time they get the data, ”said Schoenbaum.

Make the information actionable. “Sometimes healthcare professionals ask for the data and when they receive it, they cannot understand it. If the data is presented in a dashboard, clinicians and other employees can view it and react quickly to it and use it, ”says Schoenbaum. Consolidated, relevant information readily available at the time of decision can help clinicians take action quickly.

Rely on dedicated experts to understand the data. “An analytics team can be used to review data and generate meaningful insights. In addition, machine learning and artificial intelligence can also be used to better analyze data and identify opportunities for improvement, ”says Schönbaum.

Make an effort to use interoperable data. “Health organizations need a lot of data, but in order to use it optimally, it is helpful if it is standardized and shared in a networked medication management system,” concludes Schoenbaum.

* HIMSS Market Intelligence Surveys: “Transforming Medication Management: Insights on Connected Medication Management.” End of 2019 and 2020. Sponsored by BD. These surveys were conducted online among people employed in US hospitals and health systems with 100 beds or more. The respondents were screened for their involvement in the medication management process. Qualified individuals have been placed in a mix of drug management-related roles including pharmacy, nursing, prescribing, clinical informatics, technical IT, and managerial positions. A total of 450 respondents took part, 250 in late 2019 and 200 in late 2020. BD was not identified as a sponsor of the study.


Level 4 (80-100 points): An organization that has met all the criteria for the other linked medication management levels is ahead of its competitors and optimizes its performance in all core competencies to further streamline and improve its approach to networked medication management. level 3 (65-79 points): Organizations at this level have established ongoing activities, processes and practices that enable them to achieve consistent results from their related medication management activities. Level 2 (50-64 points): Here the organizations lagged behind the curve compared to their competitors and are still actively developing their competencies in connection with drug management. Level 1 (<50 points): In these organizations, many obstacles inhibit attempts or enthusiasm for sustainable improvement in all aspects of networked drug management.

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