Riverside Hospital’s Pharmacy Services Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Riverside Hospital’s Pharmacy Services Case Study Solution

Strategic Analysis

Proposed Changes:

There are many options that can be considered to overcome the persisting issues. The first option is to introduce a unit dose system. A unit dose system is a medication dispensing system in which the doses are individually prepared and packed for each individual patient in a bubble pack, which are then labeled with the name of drug, patient, dose and the time the medication needs to be given to the patient. Moreover, each bubble has the medication for five days. The main goal is to reduce the errors in medications as well as the medication waste, along with the nursing time involved in dispensing the medications to the patients. As an addition, it will also reduce the inventory holding cost. The criteria would be to see if the system has reduced the errors and issues, and how much cost does it save and incur after following this system. (officals, Riverside Hospital’s Pharmacy, 2016-17)

Even though the option might help in reducing the errors and might save the time that can be used in any other area ofpatient’s treatment, it isn’t cost effective and will incur more cost than the bulk purchasing. Moreover, it requires more labor as compared to bulk purchasing, which can be bought once and used for a long period of time.

Another option available is to apply the Bar-Code Medication and Administration system (BCMAS). This system has bar codes for each drug and for nurses as well as the patients. Through this system, the prescription which is written by the physician is then required to be hand delivered to the pharmacy, which then develops the barcode that is attached with the unit dose. Also, the dose is then given to the nurse who would scan the bar with her identification badge along with the patient’s wristband.If all three match the dose that is given to the patients, and if all three don’t match then the nurse would easily identify the error. The goal and management criterion of applying this system is to reduce the errors committed during the treatment process, and to save time. This is done to alert when the error has been made and who overrides the error to dispense the medications to the patient. (officals, Riverside Hospital’s Pharmacy, 2012-2013)

Even though the system can prevent wrong dispense of medications to the patients and would also warn the nurse if the barcode is not matched to reduce the errors and also to record who overrides the warning of the system. However, the system is yet to be applied by any hospital in LHIN. By incurring such cost can turn out to be a disaster for the hospital. Also, in the study conducted on the system it has identified the errors humanmake.With Government already considering to reduce the budgets of the hospitals, this system cost might act adversely for Riverside. (officials, Riverside Hospital’s Pharmacy, 2011)

The third option for Riverside is to implement an Automated Pharmacy system. This system automates the unit dose packaging, and it dispenses the medications into the workstation and storage of the medications. It will work when a physician would enter the prescription into the hospital’s approved device and the medicines would be received by the workstation, and notify the workstation that the dosage is received. (officals, Riverside Hospital’s Pharmacy, 2010-11)

The system hasn’t been adopted previously by any other hospital in LHIN; however it has been applied in other countries like the UK. In addition, it has reduced the number of errors and has also increased the efficiency by reducing the time for each technician for the prescription from 10-12 to 15 prescriptions in an hour. The cost to be incurred for implementing this system is high and it is hard to reverse the system because of the 5 years contract that is required to be signed. It also requires BCMAS system to work, which will increase the cost to the level that might not be possible for Riverside. It also has the negative side of not being able to store all kinds of medicines, and also has the problem of crashing down that will cause problems for the staff, who will then be obliged to fill the prescriptions manually. (officals, Riverside Hospital’s Pharmacy, 2017)

The last option for Riverside is to integrate its pharmacy with LGH, which shares the similar set of practices, culture and set of values with RDMH, which also has the similar IT system. This system will integrate the pharmacies of LGH and RDMH under the leadership of LGH’s Director of pharmacy. Through this system, RDMH could have an access to the LGH’s pharmacists who will provide services on regular basis during the week and RDMH would be required to cover the salary of one and a half full-time pharmacist.

This system can work under the good leadership of LGH; however it requires a lot of integration between the two hospitals. Nonetheless, the positive point is that the both hospitals have similar cultures and set of values, which might help in not just improving the processes but also in integrating. However, this integrated system might solve the patients’ problems, but the problems might rise in emergency department when the pharmacists of LGH won’t be available. Overall, this system doesn’t need a big capital expenditure and might help in saving the costs.

All the proposed changes are considered to be successful in such a way that it reduces the occurrence of errors to improve the organizational efficiency. The organization cures its patients more effectively with the help of these changes. Proposed technology enables the organizationto track the whole history of their patients and reduce the hand writing errors.


Diversified Business Operation By Partnership:

On the basis of above analysis, it is recommended that the organization shouldimprove its services by combining its operations with other organizations. This would help the organization to improve its revenues, use high technology, and gain more technical advicescontributing to solve the patients’ problem efficiently.

Introduce Tele Health Services:

With the increase in diseases’ rates and decrease in hospital’s capacity, the organization could introduce the provision of the tele-health services to its patients. The tele-health services enable the organization to provide services to itspatients at home, without visiting the hospital,for the purpose of  proving effective treatment and fast recovery to the patients more effectively.Tele-health saves the time andthe cost of not only the doctors but also the patients’. The patientswould be able to get the advice of doctorsat home without visiting hospitals. It will also solve the problem of retaining the pharmacists, asit would eliminate the chances of medication errors that occur due to poor hand writing……………..


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