Turning to Technology for Managing Drug Shortages

One company, LogicStream Health, creates software that integrates with a hospital EHR system for multiple platform services.

Drug shortages are a bane for any pharmacy environment. Hospitals and health systems face issues daily regarding lot recalls or pharmaceutical companies manufacturing setbacks that cause shortages of injectable and infusion medications on a daily basis.

Community pharmacy has recently seen a swell of issues related to ARB manufacturing, causing distress amongst patients. In the end, the impact of drug shortages for providers s a frustrating endeavor that rests with understanding the limits of their ability to prescribe preferential therapy, explaining to patients that they may need to change their drug for a time, and pharmacists navigating the drug-supply chain.

Some technology companies have been paying attention to these issues and are now creating solutions to address them. One company, LogicStream Health, creates software that integrates with a hospital EHR system for multiple platform services. These include 'Clinical Process Improvement,' 'Infection Prevention Solutions,' and 'Pharmacy Management.'

Overall, the software is geared to give providers and practitioners recommendations and insights on what they are ordering to reduce cost and improve efficiency. An example includes how the Infection Prevention package aims to track what tests or treatments are ordered for clostridium difficile for example, and help make sure uneeded tests are not reordered or treatment given that would increase costs incurred over the course of hospitalization.

Their Pharmacy Management platform though has several interesting assets, including antibiotic stewardship, opioid management, and drug shortages that seem to be gaining some traction. The University of Chicago Medicine, an academic medical health system, has recently signed up to utilize LogicStream Healths system to address their issues.

The drug shortage solution aims to help preemptively inform the organization of drug shortages that may occur, to help the organization prepare. This includes giving prescribers insights on alternatives to prescribe through the EHR, the pharmacy alternatives to vendors to purchase from, and a communication platform to keep all teams in the loop.

Overall, this is an ambitious idea, as many hospitals already may have a committee or task force of interprofessional members to manage their drug shortages, but may be restrained to using their own internal solutions. The rise of such platforms such as LogicStream Health is a positive endeavor of integrating technology and analytics for intrinsic pharmacy issues that many may not recognize, and help pharmacists across the nation.