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FEATURE


Use Your Resources One such solution might come from benchmarking medications, Sones says. “In collaboration with the phar- macy consultant, many facilities turn to


benchmarking of high-volume,


high-cost drugs. Often this process will provide reasons to revisit acquisi- tion costs with the vendor or supplier.” West Parkway ASC’s strong rela- tionship with a local hospital has helped periodically, Ezerskis notes. “We are on the grounds of the hospital. While we are physician-owned, on the few occa- sions I have desperately needed some- thing, they can usually let us borrow what we need, with the understanding that I will replace the items when my order comes in. It definitely helps to have that good relationship.” ASCs might benefit by having a limited number of people involved


with medication inventory manage- ment, Dembny says. “You become more adept at solving these problems and challenges if you do it every day. That will be key to avoiding a crisis when you are forced to scramble.” Ezerskis says her ASC uses an elec- tronic inventory management system


so she always knows what is in inven- tory and what medications the ASC primarily relies upon. “If my staff alerts me that a medication is low, I can go into the history to see how often it is used and can decide whether to order or put it on a watch list. Since we do not have a lot of inventory, I always want to have a little extra of those med- ications we use often. If a recall occurs, I usually have another batch, either one I just bought or one I had in storage. I like to have two different lot numbers.” It is imperative that ASCs keep their priorities in order when faced with medication inventory manage- ment challenges, Ezerskis. “We will never switch to a medication that could jeopardize safety or physician comfort. Patient care always comes first. Then, it is about cost management.”


20 ASC FOCUS MAY 2016


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