Hospital logistics aren’t sexy, but they’re necessary to keep the place humming along during emergencies and to reduce errors and other costly issues. Qventus, a startup with a predictive intelligence software platform, is joining up with one of the largest hospital systems in the U.S., Sutter Health, to see if it can expedite Sutter’s pharmacy operations and hopefully save some cash in the process.
It seems a good time to dig in. Drug prices have been on the rise for the past few years and, if analyst predictions are correct, are set surpass the growth of wages in 2017.
Trump stumped on his campaign that one of his priorities would be to bring down drug prices but so far it seems his plan would benefit drug companies, not individuals who need those cost reductions. Meanwhile, drug prices continue to spin out of control.
In fact, around 25 percent of Americans saw the cost of their prescription drugs spike in the last 12 months. Some of that can be attributed to new, more costly drugs on the market. But another explanation could be a failure to identify more affordable options for the patient.
Qventus and Sutter are testing out a system to see if together they can reduce costs for patients who may otherwise not be aware of these other options.
“Applying Qventus’ artificial intelligence to our pharmaceutical operations allows us to identify areas of improvement while keeping the focus on those in our care,” said Sutter Health’s pharmacy executive director Ryan Stice.
While we don’t yet know how the software will play out in Sutter’s large system, Qventus has already shown it has the ability to reduce costs elsewhere. One internal study showed Qventus system was able to reduce patient falls by 39 percent simply by changing certain triggers to alert the on staff nurse. Another hospital in Oklahoma was able to reduce the amount of patients who left the waiting room without being seen (usually because its taking too long) by 55 percent.
Qventus will begin working with four Sutter Health sites initially. Later, it will roll out to 26 additional sites.