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HIMSS Market Intelligence conducted two benchmarking studies, late 2019 and a follow-up late 2020, sponsored by BD, to explore how connected medication management is transforming medication management overall. The results of the 2020 survey* titled Transforming Medication Management: Insights on Connected Medication Management made it clear that the 50% of hospitals and health systems that were classified in the lowest two categories on a 1 to 4 scale that measures connected medication management performance could benefit from focusing on making improvements to process efficiencies.1

What’s considerably murkier for many of these organizations is exactly how they should proceed.

“Organizational leaders need to understand if there are any gaps in the medication management process and identify where there are opportunities for improvement,” said Anna Schoenbaum, DNP, misoprostol in india RN, Assistant Vice President, Information Systems, Penn Medicine. “For example, it’s really important to understand that your organization is successful at distribution but might need to improve dispensing or turnaround time. Relying on metrics at each point of the process can help determine where there are opportunities for improvement.”

But here’s the unfortunate rub: Analytics are tripping up many healthcare organizations as they strive to move forward. In fact, according to the 2019 survey, just 38% of survey respondents strongly agree that their organizations are increasing the ability to standardize and normalize data to enable analytics, while 50% only somewhat agree and 11% disagree.

Standardizing and normalizing data is one way that healthcare organizations could move toward obtaining the high-quality data needed to support connected medication management analytics. In addition, hospital and health system leaders should strive to:

Understand the purpose behind the data. Reporting medication misses or near misses — events that either resulted or could have resulted in adverse consequences — can potentially help hospitals and health systems identify system design problems. When collecting this data, however, it’s important to understand exactly how the information will be utilized. By doing so, healthcare leaders can determine what data elements need to be included, such as the time of day, the role of the clinician who administered the medication and the medication product number.

Provide clinicians with speedy access to actionable data. “Clinicians don’t want to have to wait a long time if they’re trying to address a problem. Sometimes, however, it takes so many months to get useful data that they have already moved on to different challenges by the time they receive the data,” Schoenbaum said.

Make the information actionable. “Sometimes healthcare professionals will ask for the data, then when they get it, can’t make sense of it. When the data is presented in a dashboard, clinicians and other staff members can take a look at it and quickly react to it and use it,” Schoenbaum noted. Having consolidated, relevant information readily available at the point of decision can help clinicians take action quickly. 

Rely on dedicated experts to make sense of the data. “An analytics team can be used to review data and come up with meaningful insights. In addition, machine learning and artificial intelligence can also be used to better analyze data and identify opportunities for improvement,” Schoenbaum said.

Strive to use interoperable data. “Healthcare organizations need a lot of data, but to make the best use of it, it’s helpful if it’s standardized and shared in a connected medication management system,” Schoenbaum concluded.

*HIMSS Market Intelligence surveys: “Transforming Medication Management: Insights on Connected Medication Management.” Late 2019 and 2020. Sponsored by BD. These surveys were conducted online among individuals employed at U.S. hospitals and health systems with 100 or more beds. Respondents were screened for involvement in the medication management process. Qualified individuals were employed in a mix of roles related to medication management, including pharmacy, nursing, prescribing, clinical informatics, technical IT, and executive leadership roles. A total of 450 respondents participated, 250 in late 2019 and 200 in late 2020. BD was not identified as a sponsor of the research.

Attending HIMSS21? Join us virtually or in person to learn more about BD solutions for connected medication management. Schedule a meeting with BD today.


1 Level 4 (80-100 points): An organization that has met all criteria for the other connected medication management levels is pacing ahead of their peers, optimizing their performance across the core competencies to further streamline and enhance their approach to connected medication management. Level 3 (65-79 points): Organizations at this level have established ongoing activities, processes and practices, enabling them to realize consistent results from their connected medication management activities. Level 2 (50-64 points): Organizations here are a little behind the curve with respect to their peers, still actively developing their connected medication management competencies. Level 1 (<50 points): In these organizations, many roadblocks inhibit attempts or enthusiasm for sustainable improvement around connected medication management.

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