6 Resolutions for Community Hospitals

Cora Nucci, for HealthLeaders Media , January 5, 2011

3. Join a GPO
Group Purchasing Organizations have been shown to improve transparency, accountability, and fair product discounting by the Government Accountability Office. Last month, for example, Appleton (MN) Area Health Services, a community-owned critical access hospital, announced it had entered a volume purchasing agreement with Sanford Health. Sanford's volume purchasing power saves partner hospitals money.

4. Bring in some hospitalists
Physician shortages are on the rise and can be particularly acute in rural settings. One solution is to contract with hospitalists, a move that is gaining favor among hospital chiefs.

5. Raise patient satisfaction scores
Competition among community hospitals is keen. One way a facility can stand out is to elevate its patient satisfaction scores. A service as simple as room service, being handed an iPad on admission, or even being offered a beer or glass of wine can go miles toward making patients feel better about their hospital stay.

6.Implement an EHR/EMR system

Don't be swayed by a recent RAND study that called into question the value of electronic medical records. It's time to plan for implementation now, and it's long past time to get physicians and other staff on board.  Federal EHR incentives registration began this week, so there's no time to waste.

Cora Nucci is the Digital Associate Editorial Director for HealthLeaders Media.

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