Sulzbacher Healthcare

Solving Medication Dispensing Challenges to Provide Safer Patient Care

Enter Centric: Creating a Strategic Plan and Support for an Immediate and Long-Term Resolution

Sulzbacher sought help from Centric Consulting’s Miami office along with our National Healthcare Practice. We facilitated internal interviews with key stakeholders to identify the core barriers impacting patient care and their safe medication dispensing processes. Integrating the EHR with the medication dispensing solution required a third-party regulated solution, SureScripts.

Initially, we assisted Sulzbacher in applying for a National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) number, which is a unique, national identification number assigned by the NCPDP to every licensed pharmacy in the United States and its territories. This is necessary to set up the SureScripts integration between the two systems. However, since Sulzbacher supports only the dispensing of medications ordered by the healthcare providers, they are not operating as a stand-alone pharmacy. And, without a full-time pharmacist on staff, Sulzbacher was unable to meet the qualifications for working with Surescripts directly and required the EHR and medication dispensing vendors to work together to enable the required integration.

We arranged several meetings with their electronic health record (EHR) and dispensing vendors and an in-person meeting with the EHR vendor and SureScripts to identify key steps, barriers, and owners for integrating their systems with the medication dispensing solution. None of the vendors were able to own the integration with SureScripts.

We reviewed the summary of the meetings and options with Sulzbacher, allowing them to decide the most viable solution was to migrate to a new EHR that could own the integration of SureScripts with their medication dispensing solution.

The Solution: Improving Flow Through a New Vendor

Unable to mitigate the EHR clinical documentations combined with the inability to integrate with the medication dispensing solution, Sulzbacher decided to migrate to a new EHR vendor to address both the clinical documentation workflows and the integration to their medication dispensing solution. The new vendor facilitated the process of integrating the electronic prescriptions with the dispensing solution, eliminating the redundancies of manual entry of information.

From the provider perspective, the greatest benefit to migrating to the new EHR vendor has been the ease of patient charting. With the new EHR being web-based, providers have also been able to access patients’ records from their mobile phones and access them from home.

According to John Bowls, Health System and Budget Administrator at Sulzbacher, “Since switching to Athena and having that integration with QS/1, it has really helped with the flow in the medication room. Not having to do double entry has helped with reducing the number of errors and gives the pharmacy techs more time to focus on the medication and the patients themselves.”

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