ASHP Selects Four McKesson Abstracts for Presentation

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December 09, 2013

Presentations highlight health-system pharmacy innovations to reduce costs, improve efficiencies

ORLANDO, December 9, 2013

– Innovative solutions to help hospital and health-system pharmacies reduce costs, improve efficiencies and uncover untapped revenue will be the focus of four abstracts selected for presentation at this year’s American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting, currently underway.

“At a time when hospitals and health systems are looking to pharmacies to help control costs, increase revenue and improve patient care, we are honored that ASHP is featuring a number of abstracts that highlight McKesson customers and solutions,” said Scott Miller, senior vice president of McKesson Health Systems. “Our solutions and pharmacy consulting services have demonstrated clear and impactful results for our customers, and we believe these demonstrations will offer insights and practices that can help other leaders drive better business health within their pharmacies.”

ASHP to Feature McKesson Solutions in Four Poster Sessions

ASHP will feature McKesson customers and solutions in poster presentations covering the following topics:

  • “Economic Impact of Supply Chain Management Initiatives in an Academic Medical Center” — Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; December 9, 2–4:30 p.m.

Hospital pharmacy departments are challenged with meeting drug cost containment goals and improving inventory control to help meet hospital financial goals. In this study, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital pharmacy leaders targeted supply chain management initiatives across the supply chain to achieve multiple benefits including tighter inventory control, expanded patient assistance programs, improved accountability and budget assignments, and increased communication and training. With support and guidance from McKesson’s Pharmacy Optimization® team, the 969-bed academic medical center achieved a reduction in wholesaler drug spend of $3.8 million over the previous six months and a 33% inventory reduction totaling $2.7 million from June 2012 to January 2013.

  • “Economic Impact of Seven Clinical Initiatives in a Large Academic Health System” — Georgia Regents Medical Center; Monday, December 9, 2–4:30 p.m.

Hospital pharmacy departments have been historically challenged to reduce costs, with recent developments in healthcare increasing the urgency. To address this challenge, Georgia Health Sciences Health System implemented seven clinical initiatives and calculated savings with a drug spend analytics software program. The initiatives implemented included: expansion of the antimicrobial stewardship program, a carbapenem therapeutic interchange, targeted antimicrobial monitoring, IVIG interchange, transplant drug optimization, thrombin waste reduction, and optimization of anesthetic inhalation agents. The 632-bed health system achieved more than $1.3 million in savings (7% of total drug spend) by measuring cost savings over one year for each initiative.

  • “Economic Impact of a Therapeutic Interchange for Ipratropium Bromide/Albuterol Sulfate Inhalers in a Safety Net Medical Center” — Hennepin County Medical Center and McKesson; Tuesday, December 10, 2–4:30 p.m.

Hennepin County Medical Center, a 462-occupied-bed, level-1 medical center, is always evaluating cost containment opportunities in its pharmacy department. The hospital examined the anti-asthmatic and bronchodilator agents in order to implement a therapeutic interchange and streamline the use of agents within this class. Respiratory therapy was involved and alerts were incorporated into the electronic health record and CPOE system. After the first four months of implementation, drug spend in this therapeutic category decreased by 50% ($89,800/month vs. $44,540/month).

  • “Justification of Future Drug Expenditures Based on Historical Usage Patterns” — Hennepin County Medical Center and McKesson; Tuesday, December 10, 2–4:30 p.m.

By developing a consistent approach to predict the hospital’s annual drug spend, Hennepin County Medical Center is able to accurately plan for future drug expenses. The purpose of this project was to review the top therapeutic drug class expenditures as compared to the recommended national average predicted increases to facilitate the budget for the following fiscal year. Using purchase data, historic inflation, and a customized report for the top drug classes, usage patterns were evaluated to determine the drivers of the drug costs within each class. Using the specific usage trends allows a more accurate budget for the pharmacy department. While a forecasting tool projected drug price inflation and new drug costs at 3.8% growth in the drug budget, the HCMC model based on actual purchasing and inflation history projected a 7.3% overall increase.

ASHP Hosted Automation and Technology Session and Management Case Study

In addition to the management case studies and educational sessions, ASHP will feature McKesson customers and solutions in an informatics networking session and management case study covering the following topics:

  • An informatics networking session titled “Use of Automation and Technology for Tracking and Improving Medication Accountability” will be hosted by the ASHP Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology’s Advisory Group on Pharmacy Operations Automation on December 10, 12:30–1:30 p.m. Facilitated by Barbara Giacomelli, PharmD, MBA, FASHP of McKesson Health Systems and Sarah Bledsoe, Pharm.D. of Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO, the session will focus on the use of automation and technology within the medication-use process to improve the accountability and tracking of medications. Medications are expensive assets for healthcare organizations and are often in limited

    supply. This session will seek to answer how health-system pharmacies can stay aware of where the medication inventory is at all points throughout the distribution process and that it is not diverted, wasted or expired. 

  • In the management case study, “Stewardship beyond antibiotic spend: Showing the value over the long haul,” McKesson Pharmacy Optimization consultant Maggie Ryman and Edward H. Eiland, III, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS(AQ-ID), FASHP Clinical Practice, and Business Supervisor of Huntsville Hospital Department of Pharmacy, describe the methods by which stewardship efforts can sufficiently address antibiotic spend as well as patient health. The implementation has resulted in a sustainable quality-improvement initiative based on the oversight of three key elements: appropriate use, microbial resistance and cost.

The benefits of Huntsville’s antimicrobial management team (AMT) have included an initial decrease in volume-adjusted antimicrobial expenditure, decreased antimicrobial resistance, lower rates and severity of infection, long-term relatively flat volume-adjusted antimicrobial expenditure, a consistent percent of antimicrobial spend compared to total drug spend, and improved quality of care and patient outcomes. The results of this management case provide insight on methods to gain continued justification of the AMT responsible for Antimicrobial Stewardship activities. AMT has continued to have a monumental impact on the organization since its inception in FY 2006 as it improves overall patient-care outcomes while optimizing overall healthcare-resource utilization.

For more information, please visit McKesson's online newsroom at

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. We partner with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit

The information presented herein does not constitute the rendering of legal, financial, or other professional advice by McKesson. McKesson is not advocating any particular program or approach described herein and nothing herein constitutes a guarantee or representation of future financial performance of your pharmacy. The results described here are not necessarily an indicator of the results you should expect at your own pharmacy.

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