Kit Check Hospital Pharmacy Operations Report Reveals For The Fourth Consecutive Year, Drug Shortages Are The #1 Challenge Facing Hospital Pharmacies

While drug shortages have been an ongoing issue even before COVID-19, it’s no surprise that 91% of pharmacists agree the pandemic has exacerbated the problem. For the fourth year in a row, more than half of pharmacists rank drug shortages as the number one challenge facing pharmacies.

Hospital pharmacies continue to experience year-over-year drug shortages. For context, the percentage of hospital pharmacies experiencing 10 or more drug shortages increased by 14% from 2020.

The survey results revealed that the impact of COVID-19 was far greater than just drug shortages and supply issues.

Some notable statistics that the survey includes:

  • 57% of hospital pharmacists said each drug shortage typically consumes 3 hours or more, adding more pressure to already overworked staff.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 IDN (integrated distribution network) has reduced the services it offers.
  • More than half of hospitals report that their intensive care units are more often at capacity.
  • The top three technology initiatives that hospitals plan to undertake in 2022 are controlled substance tracking technology, automated dispensing cabinets, and IV prep tracking software.

Outside of normal COVID-19 trends, the survey also revealed that drug visibility is still seen as a challenge for most hospitals. Drug diversion continues to be a problem, hospital pharmacists who say it would be “easy” or only “somewhat difficult” to divert opioids are up 30% from last year. This report also found that.One in four hospital pharmacists report knowing of a colleague who has diverted opioids and yet even with these rates, less than half of hospital pharmacists have a post-diversion response plan in place.

This issue is particularly problematic in procedural locations such as operating rooms or transfer areas between storage and dispensing of medications. Without full visibility, pharmacies are more likely to be diverted from drugs and less prepared to handle drug shortages.

Taking this information and looking ahead to 2022, many new technology initiatives are consistent with previous years.

As hospital pharmacists continue to face staffing shortages, many are focusing on operational efficiency. While reducing drug spending was the top cost savings initiative in last year’s survey, improving operational efficiencies became the number one initiative this year. One area of ​​demand has been inventory management software. More than two-thirds of hospital pharmacists believe that software solutions that provide complete visibility are helpful to their operational efficiency.

However, the demand for tracking controlled substances has now overtaken automated dispensing cabinets as the number one initiative in 2021. It is expected that over the next two years, 61% of hospital pharmacists will invest more resources to improve controlled substance tracking and diversion analysis.

While the report revealed that COVID-19 has caused changes in the market landscape, I was not surprised to see drug shortages rank as the top challenge facing hospital pharmacies for the fourth year. consecutive,” said Kevin MacDonald, CEO and co-founder of Kit Check. “This area continues to be a major challenge for our customers. As hospital pharmacy staff continue to focus on improving operational efficiencies, the demand for technology solutions is increasing. At Kit Check, we are always ready for the challenge and we are working to meet these demands by providing new software solutions and developing our products to better help these organizations overcome any challenges or shortages they may face.”

The full report is available here

About KitCheck™
Kit Check is the leading provider of automated medication tracking and diversion detection solutions for hospital pharmacies in the United States, bringing visibility, simplicity and predictability to the complex world of medication supply management. Our breakthrough Medication Intelligence platforms deliver item-level visibility, workflow simplicity, and actionable analytics, enabling stakeholders to deliver the right medicine to the right patient at the right time, every time.

To date, our more than 700 US and Canadian partner hospitals have tracked over 140 million medications using Kit Check’s RFID product. Bluesight™ software for controlled substances is currently in use in over 250 hospitals, including full health systems implementations, with nearly 20 million cases tracked, and has been ranked #1 in the Diversion Monitoring category of drugs in the 2020 Best in KLAS report. For more information about Kit Check and our software solutions, visit kitcheck.com.

Media Contact:
Lucas McCanna
[email protected]

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