Savings of $100,000 per year at MMH pharmacy
By Stephanie Johns
In the last four years Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) has saved about $100,000 each year in medications.
Pharmacist Michael Azzolin explained how they did that.
For the past couple of years the hospital has spent between $320,000 and $360,000 on medication. That number has come down from $450,000 spent in 2008 and from $500,000 spent in 2009, he said.
In all, the hospital spent about $46 per patient each day from 2007 through 2009. They now spend about $35 per patient each day.
That $11.10 per patient daily savings has added up to about $100,000 in total annual drug cost savings, he said.
Just how did they save in costs?
“By choosing better medicines,” he said. He noted that they purchase everything available in generic form unless it is less expensive, of course. “There are a few older drugs available for less than the generic.”
Azzolin said the system for dispensing medicines has been in place at the hospital for about four years and is “excellent.”
“Patients get exactly what is intended for them to get,” he said.
He showed a video detailing how a nurse accesses a locked medicine cabinet.
After entering a code the nurse is able to access only the bin containing the correct medicine.
If the nurse tried to access a different medicine bin, either accidentally by bumping it or on purpose, the locks would prevent the nurse from retrieving the wrong medicine and a notice goes immediately to Azzolin.
He added that the system they use has resulted in interventions where dosages have to be adjusted, clarifications have to be made, and contraindications have to be rectified.
Azzolin provided a chart comparing MMH with other hospitals.
In his report, he noted that, “This data shows that, based on a comparison to other hospitals, MMH has had the lowest overall rate of clinical interventions over the past six months.”
Printed in the February 7, 2013 edition