Frequently Asked Questions
General FAQs: The Drug Supply App from LogicStream Health™
How does The Drug Supply App help health systems manage drug shortages?
- The app helps pharmacists effectively manage drug shortages to minimize disruptions in patient care and ensure appropriate stewardship of pharmacy resources.
- Hospital pharmacy teams can efficiently assess and manage the clinical and financial risk associated with a drug shortage without additional time-consuming utilization of IT resources.
- Temporary guidelines and restrictions are quickly implemented and just as easily undone when the shortage has passed.
- Providers and departments with highest utilization can be identified and receive targeted communication regarding the shortage and temporary guidelines.
- Electronic health record (EHR) workflows are easily identified and updated to reduce demand and minimize utilization of the drug in short supply.
- The app boosts clinical staff productivity by providing an efficient mechanism for communicating the status of shortages.
Can The Drug Supply App predict shortages?
Our goal is to identify newly-emerging shortages as early as possible, not to forecast them. This is accomplished by the App’s capability to access and process these data sets:
- Your health systems’ drug inventory and utilization data
- Wholesale purchasing and utilization patterns across our customer community of hundreds of hospitals
- Information about shortages from ASHP and other public sources
What clinical information can pharmacists see in the LogicStream Health Drug Supply App?
Each drug shortage is different, so pharmacists need timely and precise information to determine the most effective interventions to manage limited supply. Here is some of the clinical information that hospital pharmacists can see in LogicStream Health software regarding drugs in short supply:
- How order sets and other EHR content are driving utilization
- Which providers and departments have been ordering and administering the medications
- Inventory levels by location and how current ordering, dispensing and administering trends are depleting that inventory
- Action plans for mitigating the effects of each shortage and for returning to normal operation once the shortage has passed
What is the scope of the drug shortage problem? Why has LogicStream Health developed a solution to help hospitals manage drug shortages?
Drug shortages adversely affect drug therapy, compromise or delay medical procedures, result in medication errors, and cause patient harm, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). For example:
- Patient safety may be impacted due to unfamiliarity with different drug presentations or therapeutic substitutes that must be relied upon in a shortage. Effective use of temporary guidelines and restrictions and targeted communication of these changes to ordering and administrating clinicians is crucial.
- Addressing drug shortages requires tremendous resources to address the shortages and the adverse impact they have on a healthcare organization’s finances.
- Shortages increase the personnel costs required to manage the multiple pharmacy automation systems and electronic medical record changes that must be adjusted in the face of a drug shortage.
- The total cost of a medication shortage is well in-excess of the price tag of a specific drug. Clinical staff members are forced to spend significant time tracking supply, looking for alternatives and changing protocols.
- For hospital systems operating in multiple states, the impact is worse because shortages are often hyper-local.
- Challenges include: Finding clinically appropriate alternatives/substitutions, balancing shortages with other clinical priorities and communicating the shortage to clinicians.
- Getting the right information at the right time to make management decisions is difficult without the right technology solution. Most health systems rely on manual methods of tracking and communication, including spreadsheets and whiteboards, to manage drugs in short supply.
Who are the targeted users of The Drug Supply App?
The Drug Supply App from LogicStream Health is used by multi-disciplinary drug shortage management teams, including clinical pharmacists, pharmacy leaders, physician subject matter experts, pharmacy buyers and technicians.
How does The Drug Supply App compare to other solutions in the marketplace?
The Drug Supply App from LogicStream Health is the only solution on the market today that captures a hospital’s unique ordering and administration data for early warning of potential shortages. Other solutions available today help hospitals and health systems manage inventory and focus strictly on the supply side of the equation. The Drug Supply App captures the whole story by allowing clinical pharmacy teams visibility into potential shortages and automated action plans to control demand. This is based on trends from the community of LogicStream Health hospitals and health systems and multiple third-party sources of information. With early warning of potential shortages, clinical pharmacy teams can assess their hospital’s ability to manage medications through the shortage, often avoiding purchasing off-contract or from secondary sources.
IT FAQs: The Drug Supply App from LogicStream Health™
What information does The Drug Supply App contain/process?
- EHR content including medication orderables, order sets, alerts and EHR transactions including orders and administrations
- ADS data including inventory levels and transactions
- Drug purchases from wholesalers
How is access controlled and logged?
The customer controls logins to the application, and what level of access each user has – ranging from read-only to full administrative access. The Drug Supply App has audit logs of activity.
Where does The Drug Supply App store data?
The Drug Supply App is a SaaS solution. It stores non-PHI data in the cloud. LogicStream contracts with Microsoft Azure as our cloud-hosting provider. Health system customers may choose to either A) implement and manage an on-premise server environment to store PHI or B) rely on LogicStream to store PHI in the cloud.
Will PHI (Protected Health Information) be processed in The Drug Supply App?
Yes, although it is not displayed to end-users, and it is limited to encounter numbers and dates. A business associate agreement (BAA) will be part of the agreement.
Will The Drug Supply App require that any of its hardware be installed on the customer’s network?
No, there are no dedicated, on-premise hardware devices. There is a requirement for customers to stand up and maintain an on-premise Windows server which is needed, at a minimum, to facilitate our out-of-the-box data integrations. This on premise server may also be used to store PHI (see above).
Has LogicStream Health’s security been verified?
Yes. Every year, LogicStream Health has an independent third party assess its security, including administrative controls, internal-facing technical controls, external-facing technical controls, web application vulnerability testing, and web application penetration testing. We also undergo an initial and often repeating assessments as part of every customer relationship. LogicStream’s SaaS software is hosted in a SOC2 Type II and HITRUST-certififed data center (see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/compliance/regulatory/offering-home) and LogicStream is currently pursing its own SOC 2 Type II certification.
Will The Drug Supply App require that software be installed on the customer’s network?
Yes. While The Drug Supply App is a SaaS solution, some software components will be installed on the customer’s on-premise server (see above), at a minimum, to process data extractions. This on-premise server may also be used to store PHI.
- Will this software be vendor supported? Yes, LogicStream Health is responsible for supporting and deploying updates to the on-premise software components. The customer is responsible for maintaining the server infrastructure.
- How often will LogicStream deploy updates to the on-premise software? LogicStream Health typically schedules, tests and applies updates every three weeks, although occasional releases could be six or nine weeks apart. LogicStream works with your IT department to ensure we are correctly following your change management procedures.
Will the solution require any external connections to be made into or out of a customer network?
- Is the data protected in transit? Yes – it is fully encrypted, both “at rest” and “in motion.”
- Are firewall rules configured to allow minimum access necessary? (limited by connection direction, port and server). The application must be able to make standard outbound, HTTPS (port 443) requests to a few domains hosted in Microsoft Azure. If firewalls restrict outbound traffic, limited updates may be required. No inbound connections are used.