IRVING, Texas, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Bay Medical Center, located in Panama City, Fla., saved $160,000 in drug costs over a 12-month period by working with VHA Inc., a national health care cooperative that helps health care organizations improve their operational and clinical performance. "We wanted to reduce costs and improve the delivery of pharmacy services to patients," said Rick Moss, M.S., R. Ph., and manager of pharmacy at Bay Medical Center. As drug costs continue to spiral upward, many hospital pharmacy departments are challenged with developing creative ways to deliver safe, quality care while maintaining a healthy bottom line. Bay Medical Center, working with VHA's Pharmacy Consulting Services, developed a plan to reduce costs associated with the use of the medication Epoetin, a drug used to increase the production of red blood cells. The hospital's pharmacy department implemented the "Appropriate Use Program," which assists the medical staff in dosing and assures appropriate use. The hospital now uses individual syringes of Epoetin, instead of a multi-dose vial, for each patient, allowing the pharmacy to take advantage of the 8-10 percent overfill in the vial and reducing the amount of medication that is thrown out. In addition, the hospital switched to subcutaneous dosing, away from intravenous dosing, which allowed for a decrease in the dose amount by one-third while maintaining appropriate hematocrit levels. To learn more about VHA's efforts to help hospitals reduce costs, go to http://www.vha.com . About VHA -- VHA Inc. is a national cooperative of leading not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to improve the health of the communities they serve. VHA leverages the collective strength of the membership to improve clinical, operational and financial performance. Through the VHA cooperative, members benefit from resources that assess critical needs and identify best practices to create customized solutions that lower costs and improve clinical quality. As a cooperative, VHA distributes income annually to members based on their participation. Based in Irving, Texas, with 18 offices across the U.S., VHA was named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune in January 2004, for the fifth year in a row. About Bay Medical -- Bay Medical Center is a 403-bed regional referral hospital serving a seven-county area in Florida's central panhandle. It provides a wide range of medical-surgical services, including inpatient and outpatient surgery, the only open heart surgery program within 100 miles, the area's largest acute inpatient psychiatric treatment facility, a reputation for critical care excellence with state-of-the-art intensive care units, gastroenterology, a sleep disorders center, a dedicated pediatric unit, obstetrics and gynecology, radiation/oncology services, and 24-hour emergency services staffed with board certified emergency physicians. The medical center also offers many support services including the childhood communications disorders clinic, rehabilitation facilities and respiratory therapy. Contact: Lynn Gentry Courtney Ware 972/830/0798 804/675/8168 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE VHA Inc.