A Look Ahead
for Health System
How pharmacy can play a pivotal role in helping
health systems manage four key healthcare trends.
Population Health Management
Health System Operations
Evolving payment models incentivize patient wellness, elevating
population health management among top strategic initiatives.
At least half of health systems will serve
high-risk patients (such as those with cancer,
congestive heart failure or HIV) through
formal programs with owned or partnering
75% of health systems are expected
to institute formal programs aimed
at achieving the highest quality of
care at the lowest cost for speciﬁc
Focus on optimal medication adherence among high-risk patients through risk stratiﬁcation, medication
reconciliation , discharge strategy and "meds-to-beds" prescription delivery.
1. Population Health Management
Healthcare delivery organizations are allocating more resources to experimentation
and innovation. They’re looking to identify approaches to care that yield the best
value to patients and payers, while cultivating new revenue sources.
The pharmacy enterprise in
at least 50% of health systems
will measure its contribution to
patient care outcomes through
25% of health systems are projected to establish
formal innovation centers for exploring areas such
as patient experience, clinical outcomes, operational
efﬁciency, application of technology and generation
of entrepreneurial revenue.
Even if current cost-control measures mean a funded innovation center isn’t realistic, explore innovative
processes for improving efﬁciencies. Discharge meds programs, advanced analytics, specialty pharmacy and
pharmacy consolidation strategies are all ways the health system pharmacy can be a revenue generator and
cost saver for the hospital.
2. Health System Operations
Newly approved drugs continue to converge with precision medicine approaches
to treatment and disease prevention.
Evaluate your site of care strategy, including specialty pharmacy and home infusion through owned
services or partnerships to ensure that patients have access to these new treatments and the health system
can capitalize on the opportunity.
At least 10% of new medications used
in health systems will require a different
level of product management in terms of
storage, preparation, administration or
monitoring, thereby requiring distinct
22 novel drugs were approved in 2016 by the
FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research,
many of which were “notable for their potential
positive impact and unique contributions to
quality medical care and public health,”
according to the agency.22
The most signiﬁcant shifts in the health system pharmacy workforce will be in
the roles, training and distribution of personnel.
4. Pharmacy Workforce
Prioritize the professionalization of technician staff. This will help to create opportunities for pharmacists
and directors of pharmacy to participate on patient care teams, underscoring the importance of pharmacy
to the health system. Also, implement leadership development and mentorship for future pharmacy
leaders to be better aligned and positioned at the C-suite.
34% of hospitals report
pharmacist counseling of
at-risk patients and nearly 60%
of hospitals report pharmacist
monitoring of at least 75% of
Nearly 14,000 new pharmacists graduated in 2015, doubling
the number that graduated in 2001. However, overall enrollment
in PharmD programs is likely to drop by at least 10% by 2021.
At least 50% of health systems will have
formal career ladders for pharmacy technicians.
The unprecedented change facing health systems presents a unique opportunity
for pharmacies to make a signiﬁcant contribution. By pursuing one or all of the
measures highlighted here, pharmacies can play a lead role in improving care,
lowering costs and optimizing efﬁciencies.
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. ASHP Foundation pharmacy forecast 2017. http://www.ajhp.org/content/early/2016/11/18/sp170001?sso-checked=true
Food and Drug Administration. Novel drugs summary 2016. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/developmentapprovalprocess/druginnovation/ucm534863.htm
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings: monitoring and patient education, 2015.
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Student applications, enrollments and degrees conferred. http://www.aacp.org/resources/research/institutionalresearch/Documents/Degrees%20Conferred.pdf