Performance Optimization: Leveraging Medication Dispensing Cabinet Data to Drive Efficiency and Reduce Costs
Medication management systems generate large amounts of data that can be strategically mined to improve inventory management, reduce carrying costs and enhance productivity, transforming the delivery of healthcare.
Data mining is the practice of examining large datasets in order to discover hidden patterns and trends. Predictive analytics are insights gained from evaluating the anomalies, patterns and correlations gleaned from data mining. Using a variety of techniques, information gathered from automated dispensing cabinets can help increase revenue, cut costs, improve efficiency, and reduce risk to patients. According to the ASHP, automated dispensing technology has been adopted by upwards of 93% of hospitals to enable efficiencies in such areas as inventory management, analytical reporting for optimal ordering and restocking, and tracking medication diversion. It has been shown that low inventory alerts and dynamic inventory tracking can to help optimize automated dispensing inventory, saving time and money.
A recent study of the supply chain at an academic medical center found that with a data mining approach to inventory management the number of stockouts per month was decreased and inventory was optimized, resulting in a one-time inventory cost savings of $220,500. Though ADC’s already show a high return on investment, their capability and subsequent utility is being expanded further. Pharmacy and IT managers no longer want to just store medications safely, they want to maximize the return on this ubiquitous technology by better managing this inventory. Pharmacists, administrators and inventory managers can easily track the speed at which medication is turned over, monitor waste, and know what medications are expiring. This in turn can allow for a lower cost of ownership with regard to carrying medication inventory.
An ADC built on an open-architecture software platform enables healthcare providers to combine medication dispensing data with other sources of data, both financial and care-related. The possible analytical uses are endless. This may be done through third-party platforms or more typically in collaboration with the ADC vendor. Data analytics and reporting (both structured and ad-hoc) help stakeholders optimize medication storage and dispensing operations, but can also minimize total medication costs, improve care, and increase clinician efficiency.
Diversion is a critical concern related to medication dispensing. By analyzing transactional data, facilities can identify abnormal trends. Certain transaction patterns may trigger alerts or conditional business rules when the possibility of unauthorized medication access is indicated. Detailed and secure audit records provide a virtual ‘paper trail’ for investigating potential misuse or theft. Transactional data analysis can also improve staffing operations. Facilities may discover busier times of the day, for example, and reassign staff or adjust med pass timing to reduce traffic jams. Events or trends that outlie the intended movement of medication inventory can indicate staffing, IT, power, or even security issues that warrant attention. This type of data has traditionally been presented in tabular, static reports requiring manual analysis and interpretation. Through data mining and automated analysis outcomes can be quickly identified and presented through automated alerts and dynamic dashboards. Leveraging data gleaned from automated dispensing systems therefore can help lower operating costs, improve workflow efficiency, maximize storage space, and increase inventory accuracy.
TouchPoint Medical’s medDispense platform has the broadest variety of cabinet options on the market. This is critical if the technology is to be implemented across a wide range of clinical environments. TouchPoint offers a range of storage sizes, capacities, and accessibility solutions for virtually any healthcare facility. Medication packaging continues to evolve with compounding, kitting, multipart orders and bundling creating increasingly complex storage and secure dispensing workflows. TouchPoint’s stocking solutions therefore range from individual-doses in metered drawers (F-series, M-series), to larger lidded compartments, to bulk, open storage (V-series, CS-series) and even refrigerated and open-shelf solutions. All hardware configurations run on the easy-to-use and flexible medLogic software platform, so any space, surface or compartment can be managed as part of a robust medication management solution. With the new F-series countertop offering, even facilities with the smallest of physical spaces can get single dose control in an automated medication dispensing cabinet.