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  • Writer's pictureHealthWare Systems

Hospital Budgets Exposed: Analysis Reveals an Easy Savings Opportunity

Posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2016

Food waste, for example, makes up about 10 percent of a hospital’s overall waste stream, according to the American Hospital Association. With better menu planning and preparation techniques, much of it can be eliminated. Similarly, improper waste management can cost a typical hospital tens of thousands each year—as biohazard waste costs an estimated $963 per ton to process, compared to $121 per ton for regular waste.

Why does so much avoidable spending persist? Part of the problem is that healthcare “waste” (examples above notwithstanding) isn’t always so clearly defined. Another challenge is trying to assign concrete dollar amounts to suspected inefficiencies. Leaders can’t easily quantify the line item expenditure or the slice of revenue that’s lost when patient wait times, for example, go unchecked.

But there is one type of healthcare cost that’s easy to measure and completely unnecessary in today’s hospital budgets: manual processing of faxes/physician orders.

Yes, some referring physicians still rely on fax. And yes, many health system facilities—even those with the latest hospital information systems—can’t readily exchange documents like physician orders, insurance papers, or third-party test results. Instead, they’re gathering these physical files from disparate fax trays; making copies to be shared with other departments; scanning and saving files individually—usually without any consistent naming conventions or audit trails…

It’s not difficult to add up the volume and cost associated with all this manual processing. So that’s exactly what we did.

In partnership with one of our newest clients, we created an ROI analysis to show exactly how much could be trimmed from even small hospital budgets (75 beds in this case), thanks to a paperless document management solution. Take a look at fax processing costs for the Lab alone:

Next, we explained how to leverage ActiveXCHANGE, our leading-edge fax management solution, which eliminates manual processing, streamlines time-consuming follow-ups and order rejections, and puts an end to lost or misfiled records.

Finally, here’s the bottom line, which equates to a 2.83x ROI. (Keep in mind, these figures don’t include the additional savings on fax consumables and fax machine maintenance. They also don’t include “soft” savings that come with greater patient satisfaction—the result of faster, more efficient encounters from registration to discharge.)

Surprised? Now it’s time to see how much your facility or health system could save…

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