Intermountain Healthcare Improves Sterile Compounding Services with RIVA Systems

Posted on October 25, 2018

In the wake of market and regulatory changes several years ago, Intermountain Healthcare, one of the most respected health systems in the United States, identified an increased need for controlled sterile compounding preparations. This need was heightened by the New England Compounding Center tragedy, as it raised additional concerns about risk and lack of control with third-party sterile compounding providers.

As a result, Intermountain Healthcare, a Utah-based, 22 hospital system, formed a partnership with ARxIUM to deliver sterile compounding services in a safe and cost-efficient manner. To achieve their goal, in 2012 the health system proposed installing multiple RIVA IV automation systems in its Supply Chain Center Acute Care Pharmacy (SCC ACP), a division of Intermountain Healthcare’s award-winning Supply Chain Center. This was not the first time the health system had used RIVA.

Prior to this effort, Intermountain Healthcare relied on RIVA for automated sterile compounding technology at its Primary Children’s Hospital. They found RIVA enabled a high degree of confidence that IV medications were accurate, sterile and removed the risk of human error or contamination. To that end, the SCC ACP started with four primary goals for providing anticipatory compounding to the health system’s facilities:
• Standardizing batch compounding processes to reduce the risk of errors and providing a transparent, consistent process
• Reducing the number of full-time workers for sterile compounding services and moving the personnel into higher value tasks
• Using automation to reduce human error and contamination risks
• Reducing costs associated with purchasing ready-to-dispense sterile compounds from third-party, outsourced compounding providers

The SCC ACP commenced operations and, within the first year, achieved initial compounding operational goals and passed regulatory compliance measures. Over the next few years, it was determined that, while goals were being achieved, the RIVA systems were not yet being utilized to their full potential. This served as a catalyst for a collaborative optimization project with ARxIUM that sought to deliver further value.

The results: By working with ARxIUM, Intermountain Healthcare’s SCC ACP compounding sterile service returned significant value to the health system, both clinically and financially. Processes now have direct oversight and control by the pharmacists. In addition, the effort resulted in more than $2 million in savings when compared to outsourcing costs.

Looking to the future, this ongoing partnership aims to prioritize responses to changing market needs while maintaining high-quality standards and regulatory compliance. The success of the SCC ACP’s sterile compounding service is expected to continue as new preparations are added, with several areas being examined such as standardized pain control medications. In addition, other medications under consideration include paralytics, vasopressors and others used in surgical areas.

By increasing safety, quality, transparency and control over this risk-prone process, as well as reducing the total cost for the healthcare system’s supply chain, the collaborative effort has optimized results and processes for centralized sterile compounding services. To learn how Intermountain Healthcare achieved its sterile compounding objectives with RIVA, click here to access their IV automation whitepaper.

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