At OSF HealthCare, we are committed to not just delivering the best care to our communities today, but leading the way for the future of health care.

In 2016, we opened our ePharmacy, an innovative approach to serve patients by streamlining operations and optimizing the delivery of pharmaceutical care. Before, the Pharmacy Services division at OSF HealthCare included 10 independent hospital pharmacy departments. Some hospitals had pharmacists on staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Others had to outsource services during overnight hours.

Today more than 40 ePharmacists work in six locations throughout Illinois, serving all 12 OSF HealthCare facilities in Illinois.

This means patients at all OSF HealthCare facilities – no matter the location – receive the same expert pharmaceutical care.

Benefits of the ePharmacy Program

Implementation of ePharmacy enabled OSF HealthCare to:

  • Provide expert services around the clock
    Reduce the number of dispenses from non-automated cabinets during pharmacy closed hours by 95 percent.
  • Better adjust patient medications before they went home
    Pharmacist review of a patient’s care plan at discharge increased from 65 to 97 percent.
  • More closely monitor patients receiving anticoagulants
    Rates of toxicity in warfarin patients fell from 4.3 to 2.9 percent.
  • Provide medications sooner
    The average time for medication review and verification of high priority medications went from 140 minutes to 15 minutes or less. For routine orders, verification time was lowered from 180 minutes to 60 minutes or less.

Complementary Services

While pharmacists in our ePharmacy may have fewer face-to-face interactions with patients, they are having a real, measurable impact on the patient experience at OSF HealthCare facilities.

With ePharmacists reviewing and monitoring medications through phone and computer, on-site pharmacists can focus more of their time on in-person interactions, whether educating patients at their bedside or supporting clinical staff.

Because of the efficiency of ePharmacy, on-site pharmacists are able to:

  • Improve sterile IV practices
    After beginning ePharmacy services, nurse compounding of sterile preparations reduced by 87 percent across our Ministry.
  • Spend more time educating patients
    Pharmacists have the opportunity to meet with 75 to 85 percent of patients receiving an oral anticoagulant before they leave the hospital. This meets The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal expectations and better serves patients who are at high risk for readmission.

Creation of the ePharmacy was part of a transformation process that has saved more than $10 million by centralizing certain services and streamlining medication purchasing. Most importantly, we are improving patient outcomes and experience.