Medication Management

Plugging Leaks in Prescription Supply Chains

September 8, 2020

Plugging Leaks in Prescription Supply Chains

Healthcare organizations can integrate data across departments, inpatient and outpatient facilities to track drug diversion in their prescription supply chains.

Invistics has been in the inventory optimization and supply chain visibility business since the day the doors were opened almost 21 years ago, but perhaps released the most important update of all in the fall of 2020, with a focus on plugging leaks in prescription supply chains for healthcare organizations.  With deep experience in helping manufacturers, including pharmaceutical companies that often use controlled substances in their processes, Invistics makes sure organizations can visualize all inventory and products from any angle of the supply chain.  That puts the software developer in a unique position to help hospital systems keep a lid on controlled substances and stop dangerous leakage that can occur from any point in the supply chain where controlled substances and other high-value drugs are transferred or stored.

COVID-19 vaccines, vulnerable to theft, leave healthcare supply chains scrambling for security.

Now, in light of the demand for COVID-19 vaccines, there is yet another drug healthcare executives need to put under a safety net of protection against drug diversion detection.

Flowlytics can help in a number of ways, starting with integration of data from multiple IT systems across departments and facilities, including inpatient healthcare facilities, as well as ambulatory and outpatient operations such as retail pharmacies, ambulatory surgical centers, and infusion centers. Applications that are as disparate as electronic medical records and billing form a seamless system of endpoints from which data is collected and then woven together by advanced analytics. The analytics then pull out signals that indicate a drug diversion incident could be occurring.

Healthcare professionals who used to wait weeks for reports from drug cabinets, or had to wade through data manually, now can set alerts and have Flowlytics flag suspicious incidents and send notifications to managers within minutes.

Drug diversion expert Russ Nix, founder of Aegis RX, says that speed of detection is critical in healthcare facilities to protect patients from risk.

The time between when a drug diversion incident occurs and when it is adjudicated is extremely valuable. The longer a healthcare worker diverts drugs, the more patients can be put at risk.

Russ Nix, founder of Aegis RX

Flowlytics customers also benefit from usability gains and data security advancements. All modules are logically aligned with drug diversion prevention workflow best practices: detection, investigation, adjudication and reporting. This alignment of reports with workflow steps makes it easier for staff to investigate drug diversion and provides a full audit trail of investigation notes and information. Health systems with multiple locations can use data access levels to allow some drug diversion investigators to see all the data, while limiting data visibility for others to specific locations or departments. Permitted users can review Personally Identifiable Information (PII) within the software with full Health Insurances Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance.

Machine learning also plays a role in making Flowlytics drug diversion detection more effective. While those high-IQ analytics sift through mountains of data looking for warning signs of diversion activity, machine learning applies logic extracted from previous diversion incidents to separate truth from false alarms. In addition, machine learning makes it possible for the> Flowlytics platform to continually soak up new information from drug diversion incidents, always adding intelligence to the analytics, making it easier and easier to discover and report drug diversion accurately. (An upcoming webinar on February 25th will give examples of drug diversion cases and how the technology uncovered them. You can register here.)

“Invistics is in a unique place to solve drug diversion issues for healthcare organizations, with a long history of providing solutions that optimize inventory and make it continually visible across multiple departments, businesses and IT systems in complex, global supply chains,” said Invistics founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Knight. “These leaky supply chains also exist in healthcare organizations, where inventory includes controlled substances, expensive oncology drugs and biologics, as well as drugs in high demand, such as the COVID-19 vaccine. We are applying advanced analytics and machine learning to help detect drug diversion quickly and efficiently, while significantly reducing the hassles of regulatory reporting—issues that every healthcare organization needs to address.”

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