Recently, I’ve been seeing a TV commercial that shows how a small change can have a big impact. In the commercial, a small domino is pushed over, which starts a process that knocks over progressively larger dominoes. In the end, a domino large enough to squash a car crashes down.
Just like the seemingly harmless small domino that starts a chain reaction that topples a domino large enough to do real damage, unmanaged overtime can have a domino effect that damages the bottom line, clinical outcomes and employee satisfaction at your hospital.
API Healthcare partnered with Sage Growth Partners to take a deep dive into researching the impact overtime can have. As expected, overtime can drive up labor costs. However, some of the other research findings unveiled other less expected issues caused by overtime. Studies have found overtime can contribute to decreased nurse and patient satisfaction, an increase in medical errors and an increase in nurse injuries.
To learn more about how overtime might be having a domino effect at your organization, take a look at the white paper, “Unveiling Overtime’s Total Costs: How OT May Be Harming Your Business and Your Patients.”
Inspired by Dr. Gawande’s thoughts on waste in the healthcare system and what we can do about it.
Did you catch Dr. Atul Gawande’s recent article in The New Yorker (May 11, 2015). It’s entitled, “Overkill. An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it?” It’s a follow-up to an article he wrote six years ago called “The Cost Conundrum: What a Texas town can teach us about healthcare.” Both articles tackle the issue of healthcare costs in the United States. As I read his latest article and went back to recall his earlier one, I found myself admiring the courage it took for Dr. Gawande to write them. As a healthcare provider himself, you might think he’d like to brush the topic under the rug and hope that people don’t give it much thought. But he does exactly the opposite.
In “The Cost Conundrum” (2009), Dr. Gawande had reminded us that “Our country’s health care is by far the most expensive in the world. In Washington, the aim of healthcare reform is not just to extend medical coverage to everybody but also to bring costs under control.” Likely to the dismay of many in McAllen, Texas, Dr. Gawande looked to that community for answers since McAllen was at the time one of the most expensive healthcare markets in the country. Dr. Gawande had written that “In 2006, Medicare spent fifteen thousand dollars per enrollee here (McAllen), almost twice the national average” and “three thousand dollars more per person here than the average person earns”. He compared McAllen to El Paso, another Texas community with essentially the same demographics and generally the same healthcare offerings and services (“neonatal intensive care units, advanced cardiac services, PET scans, and so on”) but with Medicare expenditures (which he cited as ‘our best approximation of overall spending patterns’) in 2006 at about half as much as in McAllen. Continue reading the complete article on GE Health IT Views.