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Friday 21st October 2016

New tool to transform medicines cost management in hospitals

7th September 2009

In response to escalating demands for cost management in the NHS, medicines management specialist JAC has launched a medicines reporting module, which provides a rapid, easy to use view of medicines costs, usage and budgets for hospitals using JAC's Pharmacy Management system.

ReportPlus delivers detailed and graphical reports on medicines usage and costs for hospitals  via a simple interface - providing pharmacy and finance departments with access to core clinical and financial reports, as well as detailed information for recharging PCTs and meeting Care Quality Commission (CQC) requirements for the hospital star rating system.  ReportPlus not only reduces the time to complete complex reporting tasks but also allows finance departments to review fiscal data without Pharmacy's intervention.

According to The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the UK spent £11 billion on medicines in 2008; making medicine stocks the 2nd largest expenditure budget in a hospital after staff costs. Add to this the cost of the many man-hours spent managing and auditing medicines across an NHS Trust and the value of high quality medicines reporting quickly escalates.

Many hospitals are now collecting large amounts of medicines usage data through their pharmacy departments. However, they often lack a combination of easy access to this information, time to extract and organise it, and available expertise needed to interpret the charts and figures; allowing potential opportunities for cost savings (and making medicines therapies more effective) to go unnoticed.

Colin Richman, a former clinical pharmacist who led the development team, comments, "While there are clear incentives to monitor and analyse medicines data, few hospitals would choose to divert clinical experts away from front-line patient care to perform this time consuming yet necessary work. These issues are easily overcome through the use of ReportPlus, which presents critical but complex information via a simple user interface. 

"Once pharmacists have this vital data at their fingertips, they are in a position to make informed decisions and help manage their hospital's costs far more effectively. The clinical review element also creates the opportunity for in depth analysis of, for example, cost modelling alternate therapies or working with microbiologists on drugs policy for infection control helping to shape future best practice."

Andrew Duncan, Chief Pharmacist at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital was involved with the beta testing for ReportPlus.  He comments, "Creating a positive patient experience is a fundamental objective of the NHS. So, anything that enables clinicians to spend more time with patients and less time carrying out administrative tasks, without compromising, in this instance, medicines usage and cost reporting ability, is to be welcomed.

"ReportPlus has the potential to provide clinical directorates with pertinent and timely information that will assist them to make decisions concerning appropriate medication cost and provision. The module also makes sharing information with relevant stakeholders straightforward and provides a holistic view of the entire medicines budget."


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