Pharmacy is a large and complex book of business. With many components, inpatient, retail, specialty, 340b, and mail order service, resource allocation and deployment requires careful consideration. Often times it seems as if these resources function in a silo with little cross coverage between teams. That is the case in our large health system (8 hospitals, multiple retail sites, mail order service, and specialty compounding). We have developed very specialized teams and analyze performance and profitability in each of those areas, but not as a complete book of business.
On the inpatient care part of the business, pharmacy is often part of routine multidisciplinary teams (quality teams, PNT, patient experience, etc). A more recent formed team has a focus of providing discharge prescriptions to patients so that they leave with their meds in hand. The thought is that will help drive patient compliance for taking their medication (and subsequently avoid readmissions). This is often referred to as “meds to beds”, in the industry. We soon discovered that our retail sites (which are on site at each hospital) could not handle the volume, largely because they were spending a lot of time filling employee prescriptions at the counter. We had not forced employees to use mail order service. We fill around 17,000 employee prescriptions each month.
While we now have transitioned to mail order for employee prescriptions and subsequently freed up resources, we are still not gaining expected traction with capturing fill rate of discharge medications. Clearly success in this area relies on more than resources and is very process driven. We are struggling to identify key elements to produce results in discharge medication fill rate success. Additionally, we want to understand if there is an industry benchmark out there for what success in this activity can yield financially.