Allina Health Awarded Catalyst Award for Excelling in Pharmacy Supply Chain and Medication Management

Allina Health earned the 2024 Catalyst Award for High-Value Improvement, recognizing their data-informed optimization of pharmacy supply chain operations and enhancements in patient medication therapy management (MTM). This achievement, awarded at the Healthcare Analytics Summit 2024 (HAS 24) in February, reflects Allina Health’s commitment to improving its pharmacy services through in-depth data analysis and system-wide standardization.

The Catalyst Award also reaffirms Allina Health’s leadership in pioneering healthcare improvements that are both rigorous and measurable. Their data-informed innovations in pharmacy management exemplified what is possible when health systems apply data and analytics with precision and care. 

Addressing Pharmacy Supply Chain Inefficiencies

Allina Health identified costly inefficiencies and risks in their medication management, particularly with IV heparin — a high-risk medication used widely across their network. After acknowledging the complexity and widespread use of such prescriptions, the non-profit health system based in Minneapolis, MN, launched an initiative to standardize IV heparin protocols and reduce the risk of dosing errors that could lead to serious patient harm.

By forming an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, Allina Health standardized therapeutic guidelines for specialty medications like IV heparin. Their approach was rooted in evidence-based decision-making and involved reviewing current research and clinical procedures to establish a unified protocol for medication administration that prioritizes patient safety while considering cost implications.

Empowering Pharmacists in Patient Care

During this initiative, Allina Health significantly expanded the role of pharmacists, enabling them to participate more actively in MTM, particularly in cases involving specialty drugs. Indeed, their pharmacists’ expertise was crucial in developing and implementing new protocols, offering patient education, and providing oversight to ensure accurate medication administration.

To monitor the impact of these new protocols, Allina Health further implemented an anticoagulation safety analytics application within the Health Catalyst® data platform. The platform allowed for real-time monitoring and analysis of patient outcomes, ensuring that the standardized protocols effectively and sustainably promoted patient safety.

The health system’s proactive approach toward addressing the management of pharmaceuticals using new technologies and empowering pharmacists to optimize patient care and safety has successfully reduced inefficiencies associated with specialty medications, leading to improved operations. Winning an award for their high-value improvement efforts is a testament to their dedication and commitment to driving positive change within the industry, demonstrating initiatives that prioritize efficiency, innovation, and patient-centered care.

Notes from the Field: 7 Questions with Lisa Olenski, Vice President, Continuous Improvement & Data Analytics, Integris Health

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