Case Study: The Drug Shortage App Powered By ASHP Drug Shortages

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Better management of drug shortages to improve patient care and reduce medication spend with The Drug Shortage App from LogicStream HealthTM powered by ASHP Drug Shortages.

Medication shortages are one of the top challenges hospital and health-system pharmacy teams face every day. A recent studya on the hidden cost of drug shortage in U.S. hospitals found:

  • Drug shortages are costing facilities at least $359 million per year in additional spend on labor alone.
  • U.S. hospitals spend an additional 8.6 million personnel hours per year in managing the impact of drug shortages

Drug shortages often come as a surprise to health systems and hospitals and are often only identified when orders are not fulfilled or accepted by wholesalers and suppliers. Pharmacy teams struggle to get real-time data related to what medications are in stock, the utilization rate, upcoming orders and shipments, and the days on hand based on the total inventory that is tracked by the electronic health record (EHR), the automated dispensing system (ADS), and stock on the shelves that needs to be manually counted.

Alignment of the entire drug shortage team and communication related to which medications are on shortage, how critical a shortage is, approved substitutions, and the steps required to manage the shortage is often uncoordinated or happening in silos. When a shortage reoccurs, which often happens, health systems struggle to remember what they successfully did last time to quickly put a plan in place, as well as to apply this to other shortages versus assessing each one individually.

Time and Cost Savings
The Drug Shortage App powered by ASHP Drug Shortages combines ASHP Drug Shortages data with multiple other data sources to provide an early warning and weighted relevance for medications that are showing signals of becoming a problem due to lack of inventory. One system now manages its entire list of shortages in 30 minutes twice a week.

Immediately understand where inventory is located, the utilization rates for each department and prescriber, the current runway and expected out of stock date/days on hand, and when they are expecting a fresh supply of medications. For an average shortage, this can save approximately $10,000 depending on the cost and utilization of the medication.

Rapid and Proactive Management
The App quickly pulls information from all the disparate systems and normalizes it so teams can see how much they are using, how much they have in inventory, and the days on hand, allowing them to either conserve stock or quickly purchase without hoarding.

Improved Patient Safety
With The App’s easily accessible utilization information by prescriber, health systems can ensure their prescribers are aware of changes and alternatives so education on dosing recommendations and alternative medications can happen ahead of care being delivered to patients.


  • Significant reduction of time in resolving drug shortages
  • Significant savings due to improved drug shortage management
  • Improved patient safety and related savings

Learn more about our ASHP and AHFS Drug Databases at

a Vizient, Inc. “2019 Drug Shortages and Labor Costs: Measuring a Hidden Cost of Drug Shortages on U.S. Hospitals”