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Tip of the week, part two: Increase efficiency and cut costs

Managed Care Weekly Advisor, September 5, 2007

Don't make the mistake of settling for the status quo and neglecting efforts to look for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency. Consider these tips that could involve small corrections or adjustments in the way you do business and have a significant impact on your bottom line.

  1. Standardize supplies, disposables, and implants: Encourage your physicians to champion such standardization efforts. Designating physicians as key promoters for standardization allows them to work with the manager and/or charge nurse to provide the best possible product at a price that is acceptable to the center.

  2. Keep your inventory under control: Inventory sitting on the shelves is lost money to the business for that time period. Make sure your suppliers can get supplies to you on short notice, and try to order only what you need for a short time.

  3. Show staff members the components of per-case costs, both clinical and nonclinical: Conduct a periodic inservice meeting at which you assemble all of the items of per-case delivery and add in labor components. Showing cost components helps call attention to opportunities to avoid waste and inefficiencies.

  4. Rethink current practices: Always look for opportunities to improve the way that you run your surgery center. Consider medical advances that might influence the way you do business. Don't be complacent and settle for routine practices just because your center has always done things a certain way or because leadership says so.

  5. Avoid opening individual rooms on days when volume won't generate earnings over costs. Ensure that the medical oversight committee regularly reviews the efficiency of block scheduling and days of service offered. Make the medical staff aware of the total patient volume necessary to justify an extra day of service. Release unused block time within 24-48 hours of a scheduled day to free space for other physicians.