Health care is an ever-changing industry. The fluctuation in technology alone can be hard enough to keep track of, but modern medical institutions are also having to deal with rapidly increasing costs. This is especially true of hospital pharmacies, where tighter budgets can stretch staff thin.
As such, medical institutions are looking for any way in which they can spend less and therefore improve patient care. Many have decided that the best way to do this is to focus on the most value added tasks in the hospital pharmacy, and look for cost-effective solutions to the non-essential tasks, such as outsource repackaging. These kinds of services take a lot of the weight off of already-overworked pharmacists, while also helping to improve patient care in the process.
More efficient opportunity cost
By far, one of the biggest expenditures in any industry is payroll. Employees are expensive, which is why it's imperative that their time at work is used efficiently. This is the basic tenant behind opportunity cost.
Health care employees have a wide range of duties that they must complete, and when they're focused on one then they invariably have to put the rest off until later. Repackaging medication takes time, which could easily be put into other tasks that could improve patient care. This is why working with a repackaging vendor can be a tremendous help in lowering costs. The amount spent on these services often pales in comparison with the opportunity cost of keeping the function in-house.
Increased patient safety
Continuing with how busy medical staff often are, another great benefit of repackaging services is the fact that they can often help increase patient safety. Although pharmacists are highly trained and incredibly gifted, they are only human at the end of the day. In fact, a study from Johns Hopkins discovered that medical mistakes cause more than 250,000 deaths in the U.S. every year, which makes this category the third-leading cause of death in the country.
The problem here is that many institutions simply don't have enough people to take the time they need with each order. A study has actually shown a correlation between medication errors and an increase in the number of orders pharmacists need to fill. The report, which is from a group of pharmacists at Houston Methodist Hospital as well as researchers from the University of Houston, empirically proved that overworked pharmacists are more likely to make mistakes that could jeopardize the safety of patients.
"It's imperative that an employee's time at work is used efficiently."
Once again, repackaging services just make sense here. The only task these vendors focus on is the packaging and shipment of medication, which means they have the ability to get extremely granular with their approach to safety. Such attention to detail allows repackagers to create multiple quality checks throughout the process, making sure that no singular human error can result in patient harm. These facilities have the ability to create and standardize bar codes and labels for each medical organization.
On top of this, the decreased opportunity cost discussed earlier can also improve patient care by allowing pharmacy staff to take more time with each person. Something as simple as spending a few extra minutes explaining why a patient should take their pills with food can help immensely. In addition, having more time allows pharmacists to develop a personal relationship with patients, which means that these people can more easily discuss the more embarrassing aspects of their medication.
Choosing the right vendor is essential
With so much money already going into health care spending – especially in the pharmacy – it's crucial that medical organizations find ways to reduce costs without interrupting patient care. Working with a repackaging vendor is a great way to do this, but making the choice of which company to work should be done with care. The improper handling of medications could very easily lead to injury or death, and the fact that such a mistake occurred outside of the health care institution's control doesn't mean much in the court of public opinion.
This is why any organization looking to spend less on repackaging should look into the services provided by Safecor Health. Our years of experience can help ensure your patients get the exact medication that they need, without overburdening your already busy staff. What's more, we follow incredibly strict quality guidelines to ensure that the medication that comes into your facility is properly labeled and was handled correctly. Contact us today to find out how much you can save by working with a highly-experienced repackaging vendor.