You have probably heard it said ad nauseum that healthcare is in crisis. There is no doubt about the fact that the rising costs associated with healthcare, alongside the shortage of providers, is leading to an even greater crisis than what we’ve experienced thus far. So then, how can you, as a health administrator, meet the needs of your patients while keeping your institution financially stable? Actually, hospital administrators can do an amazing balancing act. Much of it involves what is being referred to as lean management strategies.
Patient Care Is Still a Priority – Going Lean Shouldn’t Affect That Care
While many hospitals have cut back on hiring, that policy often conflicts with their efforts to reduce overtime hours. As our population expands and ages, the need for hospital staff is even greater than it was a decade ago. If you make it a policy not to pay overtime, but have also frozen hiring, this attempt at going lean can affect the quality of care your patients are given. You can go lean in other ways.
Expand Your Focus on “Never Events”
When you study for a masters in health administration, MHA, at schools like prestigious Ohio University, you will learn the importance of balancing the budget with patient needs. In an effort to spend less while providing better patient care, you can work towards increasing what your institution sees as “Never Events.” For example, nurses and aids must focus on turning patients regularly to avoid bed sores.
Preventing infections which could have serious consequences can also help cut expenses. As a healthcare professional, you know that most cases of MRSA are contracted in hospitals, so better prevention is required if you ever hope to offer better patient care while reducing financial liabilities within your institution. The business end of health administration is taught in conjunction with the needs of patients within the Ohio University MHA online program.
Put Expansion on Hold If Possible
While every hospital wants to have state-of-the-art technology and would love to have that new children’s wing, sometimes those expenses need to be put on hold. If you are already struggling to meet your budget, you just may need to put any unnecessary projects on hold for a while. Sometimes, philanthropic groups will take up your cause for a new wing, but fundraising is something you’ve learned about in the course of your studies.
Whether you are the administrator in a private or public hospital, the Board will obviously determine how to set the budget but you are a leader with the expertise in health administration. Get them on board to go lean without sacrificing the quality of care your patients deserve. From reducing hospital stays to cutting unnecessary expenses, there is much you can do to ensure the quality of care you offer your patients while doing that balancing act you have become famous for. Yes, healthcare is in crisis and it may get worse before it gets better, but isn’t that the way with any illness? Your job is to be successful in easing the pain while healing the system. That’s something you can do.