core innovation - epharmacy

How core innovation enhanced pharmacy services

To ensure OSF HealthCare is serving all patients with the greatest care and love, we must continually evaluate how we operate clinically and non-clinically across the organization and make certain that all of our facilities are providing the same type of quality care, no matter where they are located.

Performance Improvement, a part of OSF Innovation offers a core innovation approach, called Functional Transformation, to assess and transform areas within the Ministry. This approach allows OSF to understand the current state of a department and when appropriate, redesign the service to better meet the needs of our entire patient population. Through this disciplined approach, we seek to optimize existing products, processes or assets for existing patients and employees. To date, 14 divisions have undergone this transformation with great success.

The Pharmacy Services Division was one of the first to be selected in 2014 to engage this approach to improve patient outcomes and operational efficiencies as well as reduce costs.

Core innovation

The Functional Transformation approach begins with a deep assessment of the current services provided, where they are currently being delivered, what services can be enhanced or optimized.  This includes assessing the manner in which services are delivered centrally, regionally, locally or virtually.  Following the capture of the current state, benchmarking occurs to define what the future state of the function should include.

This phase provides the necessary inputs into the changes that need to occur to optimize service delivery and enhance quality while maintaining a reasonable cost. Creating consistency across policies, processes, and/or tools Ministry-wide is also one of the overall goals. Standardization increases a function’s efficiency and promotes a consistent approach to functional service delivery and addressing common issues within a function.

Before 2015, the pharmacy department included ten independent hospital pharmacies. Some hospitals had abundant resources and various service offerings; others did not. Larger facilities had access to specialty pharmacists while smaller rural ones did not. Some hospitals had pharmacists on staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Others had to outsource services during overnight hours. There was a great need to resolve how to leverage our best resources and use them differently to standardize care.

With that, Performance Improvement worked collaboratively with Healthcare Analytics, TeleHealth and Pharmacy Services leadership including Senior Vice President, Jerry Storm to develop a centralized ePharmacy staffed by pharmacists 24/7 and functions as a Center of Expertise to all of our hospitals.

As a result, OSF pharmacists are now able to verify every medication order using telehealth technology, for every patient in our care. Today, our hospitals provide patients a remote pharmacist review of their medications before they are discharged and access to pharmaceutical experts throughout the organization, including monitoring and dosing advice.

Core innovation results

The changes implemented have standardized how Pharmacy Services are offered within the Ministry, making it easier for OSF Innovation to introduce and design new solutions in health care as well as provide new opportunities from other OSF Innovation sectors.

OSF Ventures recently invested in InsightRX, a software platform that gives clinicians and pharmacists the tools they need to select the right medication and dose for the right patient.  OSF Partnerships is working with Pharmacy Services to implement this precision medicine-based application that will allow pharmacists to efficiently and safely dose patients prescribed high-risk drugs, reaching safe therapeutic blood levels quickly, leading to shortened hospitalization stays and improved outcomes.

OSF Healthcare Analytics built a customized simulation and optimization tool that assisted with estimation of staffing needs. This solution allows leadership to manually adjust suggested staffing based upon availability. Through OSF Innovation collaborations with Pharmacy services, OSF has realized more than $10 million in efficiencies which supports our vision of transforming health care to improve the lives of those we serve, by centralizing services and streamlining medication purchasing.

OSF Pharmacists are a vital partner in our care delivery to those we serve.  With OSF ePharmacy, OSF is providing real-time support if to everyone who may find themselves in one of our hospitals. Extending OSF pharmacists expertise to our patients anytime, anywhere is allowing them to review drug therapies and answer questions at the bedside.  ePharmacy is another example of OSF Innovation providing the catalyst to transform health care.

Last Updated: April 26, 2018

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About Author: Becky Buchen

Becky Buchen has served as the Senior Vice President of Innovation Operations for OSF HealthCare since 2018. In this role, Becky oversees the OSF Innovation Studio and Performance Improvement.
This includes oversight of Intellectual Property Policy management, the Performance Improvement portfolio across the Ministry and the innovation process that supports idea generation, solution discovery and pilot testing. She is also responsible for the development of the operational infrastructure needed to support innovation and assures innovation results are measured and achieved.
Becky works collaboratively with executive leadership to drive the OSF Innovation agenda, including engaging Mission Partners in the process, educating them on innovation and creating an innovation competency at OSF HealthCare.

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Categories: Innovation