3 Hidden Hospital Cost-saving Strategies

Dan J. Woods, for HealthLeaders Media , July 18, 2011

3. Employee Engagement

“If you watch your nickels and dimes, your dollars will take care of themselves.” This adage, given today’s economic climate, has certainly become applicable. It’s time to seek out and identify small, yet repeatable savings. And your employees can help.

Many front-line workers see waste everyday that could be eliminated, but they go on living with it because they are waiting for “upper management” to address the issue. Why wait? Begin to ask how to reduce waste. A nurse manager at one hospital reported that they were able to reduce the costs associated with each newborn delivery by $100. Since this hospital delivered 10,000 babies per year, this employee identified an annually savings of $1 million. 

In nearly any organization, inefficiency increases expense. People are remarkably good at sensing inefficiency—and with a little encouragement, are more than willing to brainstorm ways to eliminate it. Talk with your vendors, your supervisors and your front-line employees. Chances are you’ll walk away with a long list of ways to remove hidden costs while improving your operations.

Dan Woods is senior vice president of Verras Consulting, a consulting firm helping healthcare providers find innovative solutions for containing costs while building sustainable clinical quality. He can be reached via email at djw@verrasconsulting.com.

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