Costs & Cost Controls

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August 2020
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Data mining yields tool to predict OR staffing needs

Staffing to a block duration can be inefficient. Uncontrolled variables such as increased case complexity and unexpected staff absences can cause chaos. Leaders from Penn Medicine—Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia used data analytics to measure the efficiency of matching staffing against an optimized OR schedule, which allowed them to predict staffing…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
July 22, 2020
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Culture, communication, and clinical skills essential for ERAS success

Strategies that can achieve the aims of excellence in clinical care, fewer complications, and reduced costs are sorely needed, and the comprehensive implementation of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program can help achieve these aims in the surgical population. ERAS pathways have been found to reduce morbidity, hospital stay,…

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By: OR Manager
July 22, 2020
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Monitoring implant contracts can save millions of dollars

Orthopedic implants comprise a significant percentage of an OR’s costs, so effectively managing contracts for these items can help OR leaders in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) bolster the bottom lines of their organizations. “The contract is your best mechanism to control the influx of non-anticipated items, resolve overcharges,…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
July 22, 2020
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COVID-19 hospitalization costs could reach $17B this year

Editor's Note A new Avalere analysis estimates the cost of COVID-19 hospitalizations could range between $9.6 billion and nearly $17 billion this year, depending on infection and hospitalization trends, the June 23 Fierce Healthcare reports. The analysis considers the cost of hospitalizations in three scenarios: $9.6 billion, if there is…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 24, 2020
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Defining 'wants' vs 'needs' drives success of instrument standardization

Hospitals nationwide have thousands of unique instrument trays that take up valuable space on their shelves. Many trays are cluttered with rarely used instruments that are there “just in case.” The problem can be particularly acute in large health systems. Across Cleveland Clinic’s multiple locations in northeast Ohio, for example,…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
June 17, 2020
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ASC offsets some revenue loss through 'Hospital Without Walls' waiver

Far fewer cases of COVID-19 have been seen in rural areas of the US than in large urban populations. But even healthcare facilities not inundated with COVID-19 patients have sustained revenue losses and disruptions in standard procedures. One major advantage for Heartland Surgery Center in Kearney, Nebraska, was seeing the…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
June 17, 2020
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Proactive payment collection reduces bad debt risk

Establishing policies to collect payment before surgery has grown in importance as high-deductible health plans impose larger out-of-pocket costs on patients. To help manage patients’ expectations about costs and increase the likelihood of collecting payment, some experts believe a culture shift is in order. They say healthcare facilities should be…

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By: Jennifer Lubell
June 17, 2020
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Implementation of an elastomeric mask program as a strategy to eliminate N95 use, resterilization

Editor's Note Reusable elastomeric masks provide a more durable, less costly, longer term option than N95 masks for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study finds. Within 1 month of implementing the elastomeric mask program at the Allegheny Health Network’s nine-hospital system in Pennsylvania and Western New York, the…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 15, 2020
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Cost savings achieved through sharing equipment

It’s been said we live in a sharing economy: We share our homes through companies like Airbnb, and we share our cars through companies like Uber and Lyft. So it’s not surprising that organizations are now sharing equipment, including OR equipment, with positive results. For example, Kaiser Permanente Southern California…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
May 12, 2020
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Hospital-wide ERAS adoption hinges on leadership support

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is arguably the greatest advancement in surgery in the last 20 years. But even healthcare leaders who support the use of ERAS to achieve better outcomes can find it daunting to implement the protocols throughout their hospital systems. Standardizing practices across areas that have historically…

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By: OR Manager
May 12, 2020
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