As we enter the next stage of this pandemic, with many states beginning phased re-openings and hospitals preparing to resume elective procedures, we have the opportunity to reflect on our experiences and consider how what we have learned so far can help us plan for a possible second wave of the novel coronavirus.
To help the nation’s hospitals prepare, we sourced best practices from pharmacy leaders across the country who have experienced COVID-19 surges. We hope that these learnings will provide practical guidance for health systems on how to incorporate the pharmacy into their broader strategic plans.
Expand medication intelligence for improved decision-making
With the anticipated, continued demand for medications to treat COVID-19 (not to mention new medication demands as medical and surgical procedures ramp back up), health systems will need to pay close attention to their medication inventory.
Many hospitals experienced drug shortages and supply chain disruptions during the first wave of COVID-19 surges. To avoid these issues during a second wave, pharmacists must have clearer visibility into inventory. This will give them the ability to proactively identify inventory challenges and plan accordingly.
We know how difficult it can be to make decisions about deploying medications during these critical times. That’s why we partnered with two leading healthcare organizations, the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, to identify and track more than 75 of the most commonly used medications for COVID-19 treatment. This intelligence will help hospitals make better, faster decisions around medication allocation and allow them to calculate what may be needed in a future surge.
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