This article was written by Lisa Miller.
One would think that patient care, employee performance and financial margins would reach optimal levels in the US if the US healthcare consumption represents 17.2% of its GDP, and yet, US health outcomes are worse here than in other countries. Thankfully, there is hope for US hospitals with these few tweaks.
Review and renegotiate non-labor costs
Hospital supply chain departments are responsible for managing costs, but too many are missing cost-saving opportunities. One way to capture savings is to carefully review your non-clinical spend and non-labor costs to determine which ones you are overpaying. Once identified, strategically reduce expenses by renegotiating pricing and terms.
Find reimbursement opportunities
Research every possible opportunity for reimbursement. For instance, check your state’s website for unclaimed funds that are owed to your organization. Be sure to check for your hospital name and other affiliations. Another immediate cost-saving strategy is to map costs to Medicare margins for reimbursement, which is a hot topic of discussion in healthcare these days.
Review bank fees and merchant cards periodically to reduce charges
Review your merchant card agreements periodically to see if there is a chance of reducing fees. Your hospital and affiliates accept credit cards and there might actually be a promotional discount or other factors that would warrant reduction in fees. The same practice applies to bank fees.
Review agreements for miscalculations and data errors
This practice could easily apply to every aspect of your supply chain. For instance, your purchase spending invoices might have erroneous data that’s caused you to pay more unnecessarily. Therefore, agreements should be audited annually to detect any miscalculations that could be affecting your hospital financial margins.
Optimize patient needs with ethnographic strategies
Patients today are serious about their healthcare and their healthcare experiences directly affect your hospital’s bottom-line. Simply surveying patient responses about their healthcare treatment is not enough to conclude an accurate assessment of overall healthcare experiences. You’ll need to apply strategies that produce results which represent all your patient demographics.
Implement innovation that benefits your current hospital community
Assess your hospital community to find ways that will ease your patient’s stress level during their visit, but keep in mind that patient needs differ among hospitals. For example, a hospital in a rural location would benefit from a different type of service than a hospital in a larger city.
Optimize patient contact from beginning to end
Patient care doesn’t begin and end in the ER. Optimizing care from initial point of contact until care is no longer necessary solidifies a positive experience for your patients. And, patients these days are much more vocal about their experiences online. One bad review on social media could dent a hospital’s reputation and eventually their financial margins.
Encourage employee ideas and suggestionsToo often organizations ignore their best money-making, cost-saving secret weapons: their employees. Click To Tweet
Hospital staff are heavily involved in the day-to-day operations and they see first-hand what needs to be fixed. Many times they even have great ideas on how it should be done. Encourage your staff to voice their ideas during staff meetings or in private.
Establish cultural structures that improve employee performance
Your staff spends most of their day running your healthcare organization. They deserve a positive work environment to better care for your patients. Create cultural structures that will improve their performance and facilitate their daily duties. A positive culture includes positive structures for management as well.
Train leaders to inspire employees and streamline operations
Leaders have a tremendous amount of responsibility riding on their shoulders. Training leaders to prioritize and streamline their operations, while inspiring employees to perform their best, are two ways leaders can improve their hospital operations and work culture. VIE offers several strategies to make this possible.
VIE Healthcare offers a variety of innovative cost-saving, financial and operational strategies for hospitals and all other healthcare organizations in their most challenging areas. Peruse our website for more information, leave a comment below or call our office to improve your hospital margins, patient satisfaction and employee performance.