Client: One of the largest integrated health care delivery and financing systems in America.
Challenge: Get pharmacists away from computers and in front of patients.
Solution: Create a central verification queue for all prescriptions.
Results: Patient-focused pharmacists, $300,000 expected revenue increase, reduced readmissions
In a hospital setting, pharmacists perform crucial tasks to ensure patients receive quality and effective medication care. For each patient, they record detailed medical history upon hospital admission, verify prescription orders and set dosage parameters based on medical history, and give comprehensive medication instructions at discharge. Linking in-hospital treatment with external, medicated care, hospital pharmacists pave the way for patients to achieve post-discharge health and lasting wellness.
But throughout the hospital network of Lumevity’s client, one of those crucial tasks was overtaking the others, threatening to undermine pharmacists’ ability to set patients up for success.
Medication order verification is a required regulatory process where pharmacists approve a doctor’s prescription and send the order for patient pickup. To get patients their medications as quickly as possible, the client’s pharmacists were spending most of their time verifying orders – away from the patients themselves. Tied down to their computers, pharmacists had limited ability to collect thorough medical histories at admission and give comprehensive instructions at discharge. These limited patient interactions led to incomplete care and greater risk of subsequent readmission – both of which were detrimental to patients and costly for the client’s hospitals.
Working closely with head pharmacists and hospital leaders, Lumevity streamlined the verification process across the client’s network of hospitals using a centralized verification queue and a redesigned operations model for in-patient pharmacists.
Using the new verification process, selected medication orders now go to one centralized verification queue. By merging prescription orders from all hospitals into a single system-wide stream, Lumevity and hospital leaders expedited the verification process and made it even easier for patients to receive their medications quickly.
Lumevity also redesigned the pharmacy’s operations model to give in-patient pharmacists more time for patient interactions. The central verification queue now has a dedicated team of pharmacists whose sole function is to verify prescriptions and recommend dosage. Now, in-patient pharmacists can focus completely on recording thorough medical histories and giving detailed discharge instructions. The centralized queue allowed patients to receive medication with more speed – on the other hand, the corresponding op model redesign freed pharmacists to apply that medication with more accuracy and informed care.
In the face of mismanaged pharmacist time, unsatisfactory patient care, and rising readmission costs, the centralized verification queue and redesigned op model presented a unified solution that tackled all three problems at the same time.
One-off solutions create one-off results. But integrated solutions – like this collaboration between Lumevity and pharmacy leaders – transform organizations and position people for the future of work.
With verification team covering all prescription orders, pharmacists have more time to gather medical history and deliver discharge instructions, increasing accuracy and quality of care and decreasing readmission.
Pharmacists also have more opportunity to enroll patients in the Meds-to-Beds inpatient pharmacy program, which generates $300,000 in anticipated annual revenue.