Data surrounds us. We’re deluged by it in every facet of our lives, from the bank statements we receive in our personal life to the mountains of data collected in healthcare. Regardless of the data collected, there are basically three things that can be done with the information. It can be ignored, archived, or used. Unfortunately only one of those three things is truly meaningful, using it.
Many, especially in pharmacy, chose to ignore or archive data rather than use it. That’s not because the information isn’t valuable, but rather because they are overwhelmed with the amount of information they receive and simply have no idea what to do with it. Throw in the fact that the more data we collect, the more useful it becomes, and things get weird. Seems counterintuitive, but data collected from a single source, say one pharmacy i.v. room, offers little value.
Single source data creates several problems, such as potential bias, the inability to find trends that may be available in larger data sets, and failure to create usable comparisons to others that may offer insight into improved operations. Only when data is collected from several different sources does one truly begin to understand its value.
While this may sound daunting to many in my profession, it’s the simple truth of living in an era where big data is king. However, the bright side of living in the era of big data is that others have spent time creating methods for aggregating, mining, analyzing, and displaying vast amounts of information in a meaningful manner. And lest we forget that we live in the computer age, which gives us the ability to manage large amounts of data from disparate sources to create detailed composites.
For the most part, pharmacy has failed to realize the benefits of mass data collection from different sources, which is why I was so interested when I saw a demo for REINVENT by Aesysnt while roaming the exhibit hall at the ASHP Summer Meeting.
In a nutshell, Aesynt REINVENT is a tool that pulls in data from i.v.STATION customers that “opt in”. The data is scrubbed for personal health information, aggregated, mined, analyzed, and presented back to the user in a host of great visuals. Data such as production efficiency (number of doses, average prep time, etc), doses by user, preparation accuracy, etc. is presented to the user in a comparative manner, i.e. you get to see what your numbers look like compared to other (anonymous) hospitals. The user has the ability to filter graphs, drill down deeper, build their own graphs and trendlines, and so on.
The system as shown was quite powerful. It’s difficult to explain the importance this approach offers pharmacies. Say, for example, that you’re using an i.v.STATION robot to prepare batches of oxytocin bags and your average production time is 2 minutes per bag with 95% efficiency, i.e. losing 5% of bags due to variance outside defined parameters. With REINVENT you have the ability to look at the same batch preparation of oxytocin bags across multiple hospitals and analyze their efficiency. You may note that there are hospitals producing oxytocin bags faster and more efficiently. And of course you ask yourself why? At this point all you have to do is drill down and start looking at the data details. Are they using a different preparation process? Are they using a different final container, or final solution? And so on. There’s a treasure of data to be found.
Currently Aesynt has 11 customers signed up for REINVENT, and they are looking to add more. Each time another hospital opts into the program, the data becomes more powerful. I’m hopeful that all hospitals using i.v.STATION will opt into the program; if I were using it, I would.
I’m excited to see where this goes and hope to catch up with Aesynt again at ASHP Midyear in December to see what kind of progress they’ve made.
You can read a bit more about the system in this press release from April.