Kit Check Hospital Pharmacy Operations Report Finds 62% of Hospitals Have Experienced More than 10 Concurrent Drug Shortages Amid COVID-19
WASHINGTON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Kit Check, the leading provider of Medication Intelligence ™ automation solutions that empower hospitals to achieve savings, efficiency and patient safety, today announced the findings of its 7th annual report on hospital pharmacy operations, which surveyed 191 top hospital pharmacy management professionals in the fourth quarter of 2020. The report aimed to uncover insights from those on the front lines of a global pandemic on how they have lived an unprecedented and unexpected year. It highlights how they have been forced to tackle lingering issues, such as drug shortages and diversion, even as they faced staff shortages, tight budgets and challenges. increased security within their organizations due to COVID-19.
For the third year in a row, hospital pharmacists interviewed for Kit Check’s report cited managing drug shortages as their top issue to address. This ongoing challenge has been compounded by COVID-19, with 86% of hospital pharmacists say drug shortages are more common due to the pandemic. Additionally, one in four pharmacists said each shortage requires more than 10 staff hours, indicating that shortages take away valuable staff time that they could devote to patient care. Shortages have also been more disruptive than ever this year, with hospitals unable to stock the drugs they need for COVID-19 issues like intubation and ventilator management.
A new concern related to the pandemic also surfaced in this year’s report – staff shortages. In 2020, staffing challenges have grown in importance more than any other issue. With COVID-19 causing more frequent drug recalls and shortages, the burden of these time-consuming events is largely on pharmacy staff. For 43% of hospital pharmacists, staff hours have become more limited, and for 25%, staff shortages are the number one problem to be addressed.
Even amid the chaos of the pandemic, constant stressors like drug diversion, lack of operational visibility and budget cuts have also had a significant impact on hospital pharmacists. Here are some additional findings from the report:
- 60% of hospital pharmacists have a cost reduction target due to the fiscal tightening due to COVID-19. For 39% of these pharmacists, their savings goal can reach $ 300,000
- 25% of those surveyed said the pandemic has made the implementation of new technologies more likely in the next year, with a greater emphasis on technology to monitor drug spending, improve operational efficiency, and track drugs within the hospital
- Hospital pharmacists have the best visibility of their inventory when drugs are stored in the inpatient pharmacy, although only 20% rate it as “excellent”. When drugs reach operating theaters and other areas of intervention, only 13% of hospital pharmacists qualify their visibility as “excellent”. These differences in visibility by location highlight a lack of integration between systems across the entire drug ecosystem. In reality, 28% of hospital pharmacists consider their systems to be “not very” or “not at all” integrated.
When areas of low visibility exist in the drug supply chain, the risk of diversion is high. 44% of hospital pharmacists have experienced a diversion event in the past 12 months, and only 23% say it would be “very difficult” to divert opioids from their organization.
- 24% know a colleague who has diverted opioids and 10% observed co-workers changing their behaviors to evade diversion prevention technology.
“The results of the 2020 Kit Check Hospital Pharmacy Operations Report survey clearly show that due to COVID-19, hospital pharmacy staff need to focus more on managing their operational visibility and drug spending,” said said Kevin MacDonald, Kit Check CEO and co-founder. “Fortunately, there are technological solutions that can help improve efficiency and transparency, allowing pharmacists to focus more on important tasks like patient care. At Kit Check, we’re here to provide these technologies to streamline hospital pharmacy operations and ensure organizations are well-equipped to meet any challenges that come their way.
The full report can be viewed here.
About Kit Check
Kit Check® is the leading provider of automated drug diversion tracking and detection solutions for hospital pharmacies in the United States, bringing visibility, simplicity and predictability to the complex world of drug supply management. Our breakthrough Medication Intelligence ™ solutions deliver article-level visibility, workflow simplicity, and actionable analytics, empowering stakeholders to get the right drug to the right patient at the right time, every time. To date, our more than 700 partner hospitals in the United States and Canada have adopted Kit Check solutions to solve the most difficult health problems. Kit Check solutions help providers save time in inventory management, avoid diversion in their facilities, save money on drug costs and ensure patient safety. You can find more information about Kit Check and our software solutions at kitcheck.com.