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Providers, by nature, are creatures of habit. Once they find a drug or treatment that works well, they tend to stick with it. It’s all about familiarity and success – if a pain medication has proven effective, they will likely keep using it. There might be various reasons behind this, such as personal comfort, a good relationship with the drug representative, or even some social connections like having their kids on the same soccer team. Whatever the rationale, many providers prefer to stick with what they know works unless there’s a compelling reason to change.

Even though this tendency is widespread among providers, there are some significant advantages to optimizing formulary management. It’s not just about getting them to switch for the sake of change, but there are tangible benefits, including cost savings.

Optimum’s top four reasons for standardizing the formulary include:

  • Improved quality: Due to streamlined workflows and reduced errors, quality of care and prescribing practices are improved dramatically.Error reduction: With a standard set of medications, there is a lower risk of error when administering medications during a hospital stay. Also, when fewer medications are kept in the pharmacy, there is a lowered risk of prescription errors.
  • Increased efficiency: Standardized medication sets help to provide more efficient determination and administration of care. An additional byproduct is increased efficiency in the pharmacy, where pharmacists need to consider fewer medicinal combinations upon verification.
  • Reduced costs: If the formulary is standardized and medications agreed upon, fewer specific medications are needed on site, lowering the cost of stocking multiple kinds. Similarly, if options are limited and treatments standardized, drug companies may be able to provide cost breaks through volume purchasing for a hospital, or an entire health system.

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The process of standardizing the formulary starts with creating standardized order sets. When physicians agree on specific medications for these sets, that standard can be shared and communicated throughout the healthcare system, involving providers and pharmacies. However, involving all relevant parties in the decision-making process is crucial to ensure buy-in and smooth implementation. Conducting a cost-benefit and cost-savings analysis will highlight the significance of standardization for the organization’s success.

Are you ready to standardize order sets and the formulary? Optimum brings healthcare and IT experience to help you determine the right standard for your unique needs and provider preferences. Contact us today to start a conversation!

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