The data available to pharmacy leaders are increasing in volume, velocity, and variety. But can they translate this robust information into measurable results?
For self-funded clients, advanced pharmacy benefits analytics is critical to help reduce drug spend and optimize health outcomes. Watch our on-demand webinar to learn how.
Identify Drug Adherence Issues
Medication non-adherence is costly, affecting patient health and strains the US healthcare system. To address this, pharmacy analytics can identify patients at risk for non-adherence and connect them with services like delivery or curbside pickup to improve adherence rates. Pharmacies already collect a wealth of data, including patient, prescription, insurance, drug supply chain, and pricing information. With the right tools, pharmacists can use this information to drive better business outcomes and deliver real patient value. For example, pharmacists can leverage pharmacy data to identify claims at risk for audit and ensure all requirements are met to prevent a financial challenge from the payer. Pharmacy analytics also identifies trends that could be driving up costs and helps clients find ways to optimize their pharmacy benefit programs. Pharmacy benefits are the largest component of employer healthcare spending, and advanced data analytics can uncover potential risks and help employers reduce their cost of coverage while improving employee satisfaction and retention.
Predict and Prevent Disease
Pharmacy collects a huge volume of data and has an important role in helping improve health outcomes and reduce costs. However, the data is only useful when used effectively and the information is acted on.
The pharmacies can use sophisticated analytics tools to identify patterns and trends in pharmacy utilization data to help make better-informed business decisions that contribute to greater clinical and cost-effectiveness. This enables them to identify opportunities for optimizing prescription drug coverage and strengthen negotiations by analyzing real-time pricing trends and contractual exclusions. In addition, advanced pharmacy analytics solutions can also help surface potential financial and clinical risks hidden in the drug program contributing to wasteful spending. This is particularly crucial for self-funded employers struggling to control their drug spending.
Prevent Medication Errors
While medicine errors are a fact of life in pharmacy, they can be prevented by stringent quality control policies. Most dispensing errors can be avoided with better communication between the pharmacist and the prescriber, whether due to illegible handwriting, abbreviations, verbal orders, or fax and e-prescribing problems. Other preventable mistakes result from insufficient patient education, including information on taking medication or warnings of potential side effects. Taking medicines at the correct time, especially before and after meals, is also important to ensure the body absorbs the medication properly.
Health system pharmacies can proactively use big data to prevent these and other operational challenges. For example, using an automated system to synchronize multiple prescriptions for pickup on the same day saves pharmacy staff time. It reduces errors by ensuring the correct medicine is delivered to the right patient. Pharmacy analytics solutions can also provide visibility into the drug supply chain to help hospital leaders level prices, optimize product access and manage costs systemwide. This approach is helping to redefine pharmacy as a strategic contributor to clinical and financial outcomes across the continuum of care.
Identify Drug Shortages
Pharmacy data analytics tools put big pharmacy data into full context to help improve business and professional outcomes. The right pharmacy analytics can also identify drugs that are at risk of experiencing a drug shortage based on historical usage and current trends. This can enable hospitals to adjust formulary decisions to substitute cheaper and more effective medications while meeting patient needs. The biggest challenge of incorporating pharmacy data analytics into health-system pharmacies is finding the right way to present this information in a useful context. Traditionally, these systems have used subsets of the data files for fiscal planning, key performance metrics dashboards, and gap analysis on broad categories of patients, products, and services. It is critical to make this data more actionable for pharmacy professionals to make informed decisions and drive improvement in their departments.
As the drug price crisis continues, health systems must be smarter about managing their pharmacy expenses. With transparency into reliable pharmacy data analytics, they can level drug prices, strengthen negotiations and reduce pricing systemwide. Pharmacy diversion is another area where analytics can play a key role. While automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) technology has prevented many forms of diversion, the most creative staff can find ways to outsmart the systems and divert drugs. A robust drug diversion solution that combines data analytics with the ability to monitor canceled transactions can provide valuable insight into who is behind these efforts and help stop them. Pharmacy data analytics can also identify opportunities for cost savings in the supply chain. For example, suppose a pharmacy’s data shows that they are losing money on recurring purchases of medications due to expiration dates. In that case, they can revamp their supply chain strategy to increase on-time refills and reduce waste. Likewise, pharmacy data analytics can reveal patterns of under and over-spending in a year-over-year comparison that can guide budgeting decisions.