Reducing Hospital Pharmacy Errors

baxa-forhealthForHealth Technologies had a solution for a very dangerous and growing problem – human error in hospital pharmacies. Studies showed that of the 750 million I.V. doses administered in hospitals, at least 1 in 5 contained a preventable dosage error.

For a company that manufactured an automated technology system for intravenous drug preparation that can protect pharmacists and patients from improper dosing for as little as $.25 per dose, the answer seemed simple.

But first people needed to know, and they needed to care.

ForHealth hired Mower to raise awareness of the devastating problem of human error in pharmacies and push for change. Mower created an audience-specific communications campaign that targeted the C-level hospital executives who would understand the cost‐saving benefits of automation technology and the vulnerability of a hospital in the event of a medication error: pharmacists legally culpable for dosing errors and forced to work with antiquated and potentially life-threatening systems; and nurses potentially administering the improperly dosed drugs to patients.

Within months, Mower brought the human error in the pharmacy issue and the availability of the ForHealth solution to all critical audiences ―The Wall Street Journal, Drug Formulary Review, NurseZone.com, Pharmacy Purchasing & Products and Pharmacy Practice News.

More than 36 hospitals requested demonstrations of the ForHealth product as a result of the communication outreach.

In response to Mower’s communications plan and media relations results, ForHealth’s Chief Marketing Officer Dennis Schneider said, “Thanks to Mower, if you work in a hospital and you haven’t heard of ForHealth, you’ve been living under a rock.” ForHealth Technologies was subsequently acquired by healthcare leader, Baxa Corporation.

When Baxa Corporation acquired ForHealth technologies and saw what the power of PR could accomplish, it too hired Mower. The company sought to promote a “culture of safety” message and advance the concepts that ForHealth started. Mower developed a communications strategy that made Baxa’s new Chief Pharmacy Officer an industry voice and the de facto authority on topics related to hospital pharmacy operations, automation and the reduction of preventable human error for patient safety, telling stories through bylined content, speaking engagements and through the voices of hospital pharmacists.

National cover stories resulted with “Reducing Human Error” headlines and local news stories focused on cutting-edge, technologically advanced hospitals working to improve patient safety.

The editor of Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare wrote that Baxa’s approach, “just makes sense.”

Others agreed, including Baxter Corporation, which acquired Baxa and its culture of safety message for $380 million.

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