he Redesigning Hospital Care Program (RHCP) has developed the Efficiency through Redesign Pharmacy Project (ETR Pharmacy Project) to extend process improvements to the pharmacy supply chain within Victoria’s public health services.
The ETR Pharmacy Project has two principal objectives:
- to reset pharmacy inventory levels and release value back into service delivery (that is, reduce stock on hand, increase stock turnover, and deploy supply chain labour for more time at the point of care)
- to build capability in the application of improvement methodologies within pharmacy departments, to support more sustainable business processes.
The main outcomes expected from the project are:
- improved productivity within participating pharmacies, including improved efficiencies of the supply chain to ensure that the right medication gets to the right person in the right timeframe
- improved return on investment in relation to productivity, released value and financial returns
- improved leadership and engagement in improvement, and embedding of improvement capability at all levels of the pharmacy value chain.
Rollout of the project
Following the successful adoption of the ETR methodology by several linen and inventory services, the ETR Pharmacy Project was launched in December 2014 to apply redesign methodologies to the supply chains of participating pharmacy departments.
To date, the project has provided participating health services with access to five redesign experts to help them improve workflow processes, reduce inventories, increase stock turnover, and increase the availability of pharmacy staff at points of care.
The critical elements of the ETR Pharmacy Project are:
- a project lead to coordinate and oversee daily activities in participating pharmacies
- the adoption of a collaborative model (sharing of ideas and networking opportunities)
- the appointment of ‘lean methodology’ experts from sectors outside health (e.g. manufacturing) to provide coaching to pharmacy staff.