Opinion: Hospitals can save money on drugs without Washington’s help

A 50-hospital health system saved $4 million on medications by updating EHR procedures.
Emergency care nurse Connie Bradley looks a computer screen on a mobile workstation in the trauma ward at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Source: AP Photo/David Goldman

Hospitals could make great strides in reducing the cost of delivering health care — particularly when it comes to drug costs — through a tight focus on their processes, especially the instructions that are often detailed in electronic health record systems.

At many hospitals, drug costs are an expense second only to salaries. A of 712 hospitals by the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals showed that inpatient drug spending rose 23 percent a year between 2013 and 2015, and by 39 percent on a per-admission basis. For 90 percent of the hospitals surveyed, these increases had

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