Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs: The Drug Shortage App from LogicStream Health™

How does The Drug Shortage App help health systems manage drug shortages?

The Drug Shortage App is the only software that provides hospital pharmacy teams an early warning of potential shortages to reduce their impact:

  • 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 automatically and efficiently managing shortages.
Can The Drug Shortage App predict shortages?

No. While it isn’t possible for anyone to predict shortages, The Drug Shortage App can help pharmacy teams receive earlier warning about shortages that may affect them. This is accomplished by the App’s capability to access and curate a combination of three data sets:

  • A hospital or health systems’ own true use and EHR data
  • Usage patterns across our customer community of hundreds of hospitals
  • Publicly available 3rd party information about shortages

This combination of information allows the App to provide early warnings and recommendations all in one easy-to-use place to help solve potential or existing shortage problems.

What role does clinical process improvement (CPI) play in the LogicStream Health Drug Shortage App? How does it work?

Each drug shortage is different, so pharmacists need timely and precise information to determine the most effective interventions to manage limited supply. Here’s what hospital pharmacists using LogicStream Health CPI software see when managing drug shortages:

  • All workflows in the EHR driving usage of specific medications
  • All clinicians who are ordering and administering medications in short supply
  • Visibility into medication inventory and how current ordering, dispensing and administering trends are impacting that supply
  • Documentation of all changes to the EHR workflows, allowing pharmacy teams to easily evaluate when to return to previous workflows 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 Shortage App?

The Drug Shortage 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 well does it work? What results can we expect?

Our software is helping hundreds of hospitals and pharmacy organizations rapidly understand total utilization of drugs in short supply. With The Drug Shortage App, pharmacists can quickly determine if action is necessary or if current supply will sustain their organization. If action is necessary, LogicStream Health software reveals:

  • Detailed usage patterns
  • Individual top users
  • Organizational areas with highest use
  • Common clinical indications
  • EHR workflows generating orders for the drug in shortage
  • Changes instituted to manage the shortage that can easily be rolled back once the shortage has ended
  • A repeatable process to manage shortages that reoccur
How does The Drug Shortage App compare to other solutions in the marketplace?

The Drug Shortage 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 on the supply side of the equation. The Drug Shortage 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 Shortage App from LogicStream Health™

What information does The Drug Shortage App contain/process?

Ordering catalogs and content, alerts, utilization down to the provider level, substitutions

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 Shortage App has audit logs of activity.

​Will The Drug Shortage App require any customer’s data leave the customer network?

Only content and summary data (e.g. the list of departments or order set catalog) will leave the customer’s network – PHI remains on-premises.

​Will PHI (Protected Health Information) be processed in The Drug Shortage App?​

Yes, although it remains on-premises (it never leaves your network), and is not displayed to end-users. It is limited to encounter numbers and dates. A business associate agreement (BAA) will be part of the agreement.

​Will The Drug Shortage App require that any of its hardware be installed on the customer’s network?

No.

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.

Will The Drug Shortage App require that software be installed on the customer’s network?

Yes.

  • Will this software be vendor supported?​ Yes – infrastructure is supported by the customer; The Drug Shortage App is supported by LogicStream Health.​

  • How often will The Drug Shortage App release updates/patches for the software and who is responsible for applying these updates?​ LogicStream Health typically schedules, tests and applies updates every three weeks, although occasional releases could be six or nine weeks. The LogicStream Health team will apply the updates.
Will the solution require any external connections to be made into or out of a customer network?

Yes.

  • 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).​ Maybe – the application must be able to make outbound HTTPS requests to a few domains. If firewalls restrict outbound traffic, limited updates may be required. ​No inbound connections are used.