How to Cut Costs with Benchmarking: Tips from a Consultant Pharmacist

How to Cut Costs with Benchmarking: Tips from a Consultant Pharmacist

How to cut cost with benchmarking is not a question we normally hear.  We know facilities need to obtain and monitor both internal and external benchmarking as a requirement of accrediting organizations such as the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).  We also know finding cost effective medications is a priority that can have a big impact on profitability.  Is it possible to use benchmarking to save money?  Yes! And here is how.

Benchmarking provides an opportunity to look at costs compared to your competitors.  Does your current benchmarking enable you to compare what you’re paying for a drug to what your competitors are paying?  Due to our large footprint, our clients can!  If not, you may have a difficult time obtaining that information.  We always advocate working with a consultant pharmacist to enhance patient safety and survey success, but not all consultant pharmacists have the capability to provide meaningful benchmark data.  It’s important to thoroughly examine benchmarking capabilities prior to engaging a consultant pharmacist.

Okay, so your consultant pharmacist is providing you with benchmark data on drug costs.  What medications are you comparing?  We recommend having comprehensive data on the most commonly use medications in your facility.  We provide a broad range of cost data.  For most facilities this includes the common anesthetics as well as controlled substances such as fentanyl and midazolam.  What about antibiotics and antiemetics?  Yes, we include cost information on those too.  Knowing where you stand on the cost of these medications in relation to similar facilities, allows you to be a more informed consumer and negotiate better prices.  Better prices could ultimately mean a savings of thousands of dollars for your facility.

Unrelated to cost savings but still important, as I wrote in a previous blog Ambulatory Surgery Center? Get Benchmarking Done with a Consultant Pharmacist, benchmarking empowers facilities to compare their current performance to their previous performance (and to the performance of similar facilities). These comparisons pave the way for improvement and lead to increased quality-of-care for the facility’s patients.

Our benchmarking report has always been comprehensive and actionable, but we recently revamped our data collection and streamlined our presentation to better serve the needs of our clients.  Our new and improved benchmarking service is more robust, and we routinely add new facilities which provides more data points for comparison.  In addition to a new look, our presentation now includes expanded data points like specialty specific averages, industry trends, and additional drug cost comparisons.

As we discussed before, a consultant pharmacist can be your greatest asset or a potential liability.  Not only is a great consultant pharmacist a good clinical and regulatory asset, they should also be a financial asset.

If you need help with your benchmarking or someone to assess your costs and give solid advice, please contact us.  Our clients rely on us to enhance patient safety, survey success, and reduce costs and liabilities.  Let us do the same for you!

The Consultant Pharmacists at OctariusRx provide guidance on safe medication management, survey readiness and cost savings to ambulatory healthcare facilities/surgery centers, senior care facilities and pharmacies We also help individual patients optimize their medications to improve their quality of life and save money. Contact us for assistance.


Any health, medical or drug information on the Web Site is for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to be used, and you should not use it, as a substitute for obtaining professional healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor, a pharmacist or other qualified healthcare provider for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment for any medical condition.
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