US Pharm. 2008;33(2):52.

Cardinal Health is partnering with hospitals nationwide to help them simplify the way that they purchase and dispense medications. The process of ordering, storing, and dispensing drugs at hospitals is extremely complex, with multiple personnel involved in getting pharmaceuticals to the patient bedside. Cardinal Health analyzes a hospital's entire medication-use process to help staff gain a comprehensive view of their entire medication-use process. Hospitals then integrate key products and services from Cardinal Health to simplify medication management and maximize safety, efficiency, and cost savings.

Normally, various departments manage different steps within the medication-use process. For example, the purchasing department might order pharmaceuticals from a wholesaler, the pharmacy department would receive the pharmaceuticals and be filling physician orders, and the nursing staff would administer the medications to patients. Each department would focus on its specific area. As a result, any process change in one area might unknowingly create an issue for the other departments.

Nine hospitals, including Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Memorial Hermann, Nebraska Medical Center, Ochsner Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, St Joseph's Orange, and SSM St. Anthony Hospital, will employ Cardinal Health technologies, services, and expertise to improve their hospitals' processes for medication management.

"Ochsner Medical Center has long been a leader in providing the very highest level of care, but we continue to push ourselves to take quality, safety, and efficiency to the next level," said Warner Thomas, president and chief operating officer, Ochsner Health System. "Cardinal Health's experts have helped us take a more strategic approach to how we manage our medications across our entire hospital, which will lead to even safer and more efficient delivery of medications to our patients."

"Cardinal Health is focused on leveraging the process, technology, information, and expertise across our company and provide the best overall solution for our customers," said Jon Zimmerman, general manager of medication solutions. "By combining our pharmaceutical procurement and logistical solutions with our automated dispensing cabinets, smart IV pumps, bedside barcode patient identification technologies, and our expertise in the medication-use process, we provide true end-to-end medication management capabilities for hospitals."

Cardinal Health's technologies and services help hospitals improve patient safety and protect them from medication errors; improve the quality of care by reducing the administrative workload on pharmacy and nursing so they can spend more time caring for patients; meet their compliance initiatives by streamlining information and process flows; optimize procurement practices to minimize spending and control costs; and achieve rapid results by facilitating ease of implementation and ongoing operations.

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