Improve Your Hospital Medication Process
Improving patient safety by reducing preventable medical errors is a critical initiative in healthcare. Each year, these preventable medical errors cause thousands of deaths in the United States, and contribute to higher patient morbidity, longer hospital stays, rising costs, and increased risk for the institution.
Using a rapid implementation approach based on Lean Six Sigma principles, we examine the flow of medications in your health system and re-engineer this process as needed—eliminating wasteful activities, building in error-proofing and tracking techniques, and improving standardization.
Our experts examine all the processes involved in getting medications into the pharmacy, including purchasing, delivery, material handling, repackaging, and inventory control. We reduce unnecessary steps and improve workflow between order check-in and when the medications are made available to the institution. This helps make sure the right medications are available when needed and reduces the potential for errors related to stock-outs or unfilled orders.
We look at all the activities involved in the medication prescription processing, including order management and integrating information flow between various pharmacy and clinical systems. The objective is to maximize pharmacy staff interactions with the physician and streamline the medication preparation process, including barcoding, packaging, labeling, and quality control. This helps ensure the right medications are ready for transport to the patient floor.
Medication transport involves many processes and our experts evaluate them all — from delivery and documentation to error-proofing and bottleneck identification. We help eliminate non-value-added activities and improve your ability to consistently deliver the right medication at the right time to the right place.
We evaluate key processes in dispensing and transporting medications from care-unit cabinet to patient bedside, such as drug scanning, order reconciliation, error proofing, and inventory management. Repeatable processes help remove the inconsistency that increases the chance of errors entering the system at a crucial point; the point where the majority of medication errors have been shown to occur.
The final step in the medication management chain—bedside administration— involves many critical processes that we examine, including documentation, practitioner workflow and information flow, communication across shifts, standardization of medication delivery, as well as discharge instructions and medication education for the patient. Implementing standardized processes that align to regulatory guidelines help achieve compliance, improve quality, and in some cases can help health systems achieve Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) targets to qualify for higher levels of reimbursement through pay-for-performance initiatives.