When annual spending on intravenous (IV) acetaminophen increased more than $100,000 in one year, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford implemented a project to reduce the use of the overprescribed drug.
The effort reinforced the hospital’s goal of managing costs through appropriate drug utilization and disease management. Here's how they found success:
Find clinical champions. Identify key influencers in your facility, or your largest areas of usage, who can help you transition to a more cost-effective and appropriate usage of acetaminophen.
Create order defaults. Default the duration of IV acetaminophen orders to 24 hours. This requires the medical team to evaluate the need for the continuation of the therapy.
Leverage technology. Develop the proper alerts in your ordering platform to aid in converting patients to oral administration. The alert should be easily actionable to improve providers’ acceptance.
Evaluate changes. Monitor key performance indicators for intended changes, and don’t be discouraged if results are not as expected. The solution may require multiple iterations.
Test the changes. Use the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle to evaluate and improve the solutions as needed. Share your successes.
Focus on feedback. Positive feedback will encourage continual engagement and participation in the process changes.