DUBLIN, Ohio, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In many ways, a hospital pharmacy is all-too-often viewed as a utility or cost center. However, with dramatic changes that are transforming healthcare, hospital administrators need to consider how they can leverage resources and teams, even within the pharmacy, to achieve strategic goals such as improving efficiency, improving patient outcomes and even growing revenue.
According to Mary Baxter, MBA, RPh., vice president and national practice leader for Cardinal Health's Innovation Delivery Solutions business, pharmacies should be expected to add value to every aspect of a hospital's strategic agenda -- and that value-add doesn't necessarily need to involve investments in new tools or resources.
"There is no need to reinvent the wheel – transforming the pharmacy into a strategic asset starts by aligning with strategic hospital initiatives already in place," explains Baxter. "Pharmacy leaders need to think beyond the walls of the pharmacy. They need to engage in initiatives, committees and teams across the hospital, to identify ways they can help executive leadership and multidisciplinary care teams drive their strategic priorities – whether those priorities are related to reducing costs, improving or expanding care."
In a new blog series on Cardinal Health's online thought leadership site, Essential Insights, Baxter reveals four important initiatives that should be implemented to transform a hospital pharmacy into a strategic asset. The "4 F Framework" in its simplest form includes:
- Finding meaningful growth: By ceaselessly looking for new opportunities to generate cost savings and revenue generation opportunities;
- Fixing inefficiencies: Eliminating waste in areas such as purchasing, inventory and workflow to improve operating margins;
- Fulfilling the quality care mission: Integrating pharmacists into patient care to improve medication safety, medication adherence and patient outcomes;
- Following the patient: Empowering the pharmacist to follow the patient through the continuum of care -- past the pharmacy to clinics, nursing homes, patient homes, etc.