Becker's Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy: 4 Questions with Daniel Kistner, Group Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Solutions at Vizient, Inc.

Daniel Kistner, PharmD, serves as Group Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Solutions at Vizient, Inc.

On May 20th, Dan will serve on the panel "Key Pharmacy Strategies for Health Systems" at Becker's Hospital Review 3rd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy Conference. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place on May 19-21, 2020 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Dan's session, click here.

Question: What initiative are you most excited about today at your healthcare organization? How will it affect the future of healthcare delivery?

Daniel Kistner: I am most excited about our work surrounding drug shortages. We have established a task force and implemented new contracting strategies that enhance our Novaplus private label program to give suppliers greater predictive demand for critical care drugs and increase supply in the marketplace. Additionally, through our advocacy work, we are demonstrating the hidden costs of shortages. Our survey, conducted earlier this year, revealed that providers annually waste 8.2 million hours at a cost of roughly $359 million to manage drug shortages. Insights like these help bring more transparency to the array of costs and challenges caused by drug shortages and serve as a catalyst for more meaningful conversations by all stakeholders to develop strategies that address this ongoing problem.

Q: When it comes to innovation, what are some common pitfalls you see healthcare organizations making?

DK: As an industry, we aren’t acting quickly enough on new ways to realize value because we want every “innovation” to be big or perfect. Innovation comes in many forms and sizes, and it doesn’t always have to be at the magnitude of the iPhone to offer meaningful value and improvements. In the aggregate, evolutionary steps in innovation can be as important as a singular revolutionary one.

Q: What is the most important lesson you've learned about delivering excellent patient experience?

DK: I have learned that the quality of the patient’s experience is directly tied to their ability to adhere to their medications when their physician or pharmacist isn’t in front of them. We need to make sure patients fully understand and absorb information related to their care as well as their responsibility for adhering to directions for prescribed medications. Making this a key part of the patient experience helps minimize the risk that they end up back in the ER or ICU.

Q: What future health IT capability will have the most significant impact on clinical workflows or patient outcomes?

DK: The continuing evolution of data and technology that helps bridge the gap between cost and quality will have the most significant impact on workflow and patient outcomes. The more we can improve transparency and data, whether it’s for a physician deciding which device or drug should be used, or for a patient determining where to get their care, the key is reliable and actionable data, and there simply isn’t enough today that is easily accessible for informed decision making. As a result, more often than not, physicians and patients stick with what they know and are comfortable with. A great example is drug shortages. Right now patient and providers don’t know where drugs are made or where the active pharmaceutical ingredient comes from. There is little information provided on the cause of a shortage, when exactly the product will again be available or what alternative sources or workarounds exist. Everyone is kind of on their own to solve the issue for the patients who need care. I think better data, and the transparency it brings, can help clinical workflows and ultimately patient outcomes.

Aney Abraham, Associate Vice President of Medical, Oncology & Cardiology Nursing for Rush University Medical Center and Faculty Assistant Professor for Rush University College of Nursing

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