Healthcare

Cutting Expenses in Healthcare Organizations

Cost reduction is, indeed, one of the most important challenges every organization must deal with.

However, when it comes to healthcare services, resources management concerns patients’ quality of care, turning the task of effectively cutting expenses into a matter of life or death.

In this context, ITC enterprises not only have the opportunity, but also bear the responsibility for helping organizations do more with less. The number of customers and required services has been steadily increasing, so efficiency is king.

Energy management solutions are the core for this achievement. Lighting accounts for about 43 percent of energy consumption in healthcare facilities, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Also, there are some specific Healthcare Solutions to improve some of the most importants areas such as Financial Performance, Patient Safety, Hospital Security. Holistic solutions such as StruxureWare are one giant leap towards what future asks us for.

However, despite these solutions, there’s still room for excellence in the management of a healthcare facility. Efficiently using hospital resources, going paperless and procedural improvements can make the difference.

And here is where a Healthcare Information System (HIS) can help.

Some of the main aspects the use of an Electronic Health Record enhances day-by-day performance are:

* Avoiding medical orders duplicities.

Diagnostic tests are expensive and unpleasant. Duplicated or triplicated orders not only are costly, but also go against customers’ satisfaction (and health). Using a HIS greatly helps avoid such unnecesary cost in both areas.

 * Accurate medication and diet prescriptions.

A medium hospital wastes about 3,800 Tons of medicaments per year, not to speak of wasted food and the expenses derived from preparation and distribution. Solutions like single dose medication and electronic diet prescription reduce these costs drastically.

 * Paperless patient records.

Big archives require a lot of energy consumption derived from storage, refrigeration and transportation, let alone loses and fires. Having all of the patient information anywhere and in real time is much more than a technological convenience.

 * Time reductions.

Customers at waiting rooms cost money. An inefficient patient throughput cost money. Proper management of patient’s information leads to improving patient cycle time, maximizing staff efficiency, saving annoyances and upgrading the whole healthcare system.

* Critical resources optimization.

For facilities such as surgical operating rooms, one empty hour is a squandered one. In this case, scheduling is the key to get the most out of valuable resources including, but not limited to, operating rooms and agendas.

 * Reduction of clinical errors.

Clinical errors are an undesirable problem in any healthcare organization. Computerized tools an Information System provides with, like recognition or additional checks, add up to patient’s health and hospital’s budget preservation.

 

Taking this into consideration, ITC enterprises must take one step ahead, and provide a combination of both sustainability and efficiency, going beyond buildings and getting in touch with people.

A Healthcare Information System in addition with proper change management involving staff at all levels can be the key to boost these solutions in a way one plus one makes three.

4 Responses to “Cutting Expenses in Healthcare Organizations”

  1. Salvador Carretero

    Hi!

    I mostly agree with all the points in the article.
    I think we could also add another important matter: Protocols.

    A HIS normally provides many tools that can help making easier and faster a lot of task that are exactly the same in many cases.

    I’m talking about diet protocols, medical order protocols, medicament prescription protocols, which provide automatization of processes and help taking a decission based on the HIS information.

    These kind of tools may provide an important reduction in operation time (operators of these systems normally have little to no time for working with the information system, because they must work with patients), and in training time (in a healthcare center, personal rotation is usually pretty high).

    Reply
    • Alejandro Ortiz Alejandro Ortiz

      Absolutely

      Indeed, reusing is one of the basis cost reduction is based on. Taking advantage of a work that has already been (thoughtfully) done is not only faster, but also helps reducing human errors, which is another big cost to avoid.

      However, it’s up to the healthcare facility managers to coordinate the areas and to educate the personal in the correct use of these protocols, and this is not easy in these environments due to each service and personal being used to working their own way…

      Reply
  2. José Ignacio Berdún

    And what about KPIs? A HIS provides the best tools to collect useful information to obtein Key Performance Indicators, that certainly help stakeholders to making decisions.

    “Anything that can be measured, can be improved” (Peter Drucker).

    Reply
    • Alejandro Ortiz Alejandro Ortiz

      Sure. Business Intelligence provides managers with tools to find out leaks and find ways to control them and improve administrative and procedural processes.

      Also, if your HIS implements a Cost Control System, your KPIs can help figuring out your cost-per-client or even cost-per-procedure. Even more, you can find out how long does it take a discharge to be executed since confirmed. Reducing these times is also an energetic and time consumption reduction.

      As you can see, there’s a lot for a HIS to do in the improvement of cutting expenses in healthcare organizations 😉

      Reply

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