As the Manager of Pharmacy Contract-Utilization for standalone clinics and hospitals within the growing Ochsner Health system, Charlotte Dixon uses Rpharmy’s Formweb as a source of truth when evaluating drug and formulary requests from clinicians and hospitals.
Formweb is the cloud-based medication resource platform trusted by Ochsner to house system-wide formulary and safety information for their multi-state system of hospitals and clinics.
When clinics contact Charlotte asking if they can prescribe a specific drug to patients, Charlotte first checks with Formweb.
“I try to do pre-work before escalating clinic requests to the MUSE (Medication Use Safety and Education) team. I check Formweb to see if these items are formulary and if they are approved for what the clinic needs,” Charlotte said.
The MUSE team works with many constituents within the extensive Ochsner system - both within the clinics and the hospitals - to evaluate drugs, review existing drugs for updates, document safety requirements and determine the education necessary for the drug to be used at their facilities.
Before sending the drug request to the MUSE team, Charlotte checks for these things in Formweb:
1. Is it formulary?
2. Is it approved in this service line?
3. Is all drug information accurate?
4. Has anything changed with this drug?
5. Are any approvals in process for this drug?
Depending on the answers, Charlotte either approves the clinic’s drug request or can work with the requester and MUSE to file a formulary request.
For example, a clinic requests a drug for a specific procedure. Charlotte reviews Formweb for Ochsner’s policies and requirements when administering this drug. She can also access the vendor requirements that must be fulfilled before the provider can access the requested drug. By accessing all of this information quickly in Formweb, Ochsner’s single source of medication information, Charlotte can provide accurate information and help prevent med errors or any other accidental risk.
Also, as new clinics join the system, Formweb makes it easy to evaluate the new clinics’ drug lists and provide the safety information needed for those drugs. She can also determine what service line their drugs have been approved for or if there is an exception and add them to Formweb accordingly. Formweb also ensures a consistent record of drugs and documentation when employees leave or move positions, which reduces the risk that someone accesses or administers a drug in an unapproved or harmful way.
Integrating New Hospitals
Charlotte also manages contracts and purchasing for Ochsner’s hospitals. This includes existing and newly acquired hospitals joining the Ochsner system-wide formulary. As new hospitals integrate their formulary or request drugs not in the Ochsner formulary, Charlotte refers to Formweb throughout the process.
Charlotte says that with Formweb, she can walk new hospital staff through the process of checking for the drug and then requesting it if it’s not already approved in the formulary. Because it is the single source of truth, she feels confident that she can provide the most up-to-date and accurate drug information to all of her constituents so they can then make the best decisions for their patients.
In a recent example, a clinician requested a drug where one of the indications required REMs (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) and one indication did not. Charlotte referenced Formweb to verify that the drug was on the Ochsner formulary and, if so, review which indications were approved and what safety requirements were listed. She did confirm that their formulary did include the requested drug - one indication was labeled with REMs and another was not. Because Formweb includes the ability to label drugs with REMs as well as specific safety information, Charlotte was able to communicate this critical safety information to the clinic.
Formweb also reduces the time spent by doctors requesting a drug. By checking Formweb when a doctor requests it, Charlotte can provide the information needed to enable the doctor to make a vital treatment decision. Suppose the initial drug is not in the Ochsner formulary. In that case, the doctor can determine if it is worth the time to put in the request, which may mean taking a risk that the drug will not be approved for formulary or, even if approved, might result in a significant delay of patient treatment. Based on the information Charlotte provides from Formweb, the doctor may need to seek other treatment options.
Because all of their formulary information is housed alongside safety information and policies, Formweb saves Charlotte time and creates efficiencies as she collaborates with other teams across the Ochsner Health system, including MUSE, clinicians, and pharmacists, to review and approve drug requests.
To read more about Formweb's role in the modern formulary check out this Safety First Blog.