Quick Tips to Cut Down Your Hospital's Overhead
Written by John McMalcolm
How Can You Cut Down on Your Hospital's Overhead?
The cost of healthcare in the United States is the highest in the world, and it is rising at a faster rate than the average income of Americans.
A significant percentage of Americans are forced to delay or forgo needed medical treatments or examinations because they have problems paying their medical bills.
As a result, some hospitals are losing customers and struggling to stay afloat. It is difficult for hospitals to remain profitable if they are not drawing enough customers because of their high overhead costs and low profit margins. One thing that hospitals can do to stay competitive is to reduce their overhead costs.
Re-assess Staffing Needs
The wages of your employees make up a large portion of your hospital's total overhead cost. If you spend some time reassessing your staffing needs, you may find that there are ways to reduce your staff costs without compromising efficiency and quality.
Identify employees who are not really essential to the operation of your hospital, as well as those who are overqualified and therefore overpaid.
Depending on circumstances, you can choose to release them, demote them, reduce their wages or move them into part-time positions.
These decisions are difficult to make and can have a negative impact on the morale of your staff, but they are nonetheless necessary if they can help your hospital remain profitable.
Get the Best Deals on Supplies
It is essential that you re-negotiate your contracts with your suppliers from time to time to ensure that you are getting the most competitive prices for your supplies.
If you find that your current suppliers are not giving you the best deals, you can do comparison shopping by getting quotes from other suppliers.
Consider the option of buying your supplies over the Internet because online suppliers are known to offer lower prices. Additionally, you can save substantially by getting lower shipping rates.
Renegotiate Lease Agreements and Refinance Debt
Another way to reduce your hospital's overhead costs is to restructure equipment leases.
If there are pieces of equipment that are not being used frequently, you should consider leasing them on a per-procedure basis instead of paying a monthly rate.
One disadvantage of leasing equipment on a per-procedure basis is that it can cause some scheduling problems for your physicians. Now that interest rates are low, it may also be a good idea to refinance your loans.
Monitor Miscellaneous Expenses
Miscellaneous expenses can add up to a sizable amount if they are not properly controlled.
Some of the things you can do to reduce your miscellaneous expenses include finding the best rates for professional services such as accounting and legal services, monitoring long-distance telephone calls and determining the most cost-effective billing option.
Also, make a point to check all your hospital's bank statements to ensure that all the charges listed are correct.
Minimizing overhead requires constant effort and commitment, but it is a worthwhile endeavor that can significantly improve your hospital's competitiveness and profitability.
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LG launches purpose-built smart TV for hospitals
LG Business Solutions USA has announced two new hospital TVs that are designed to improve patient management and engagement while adhering to critical safety standards for healthcare facilities.
One of the TVs is LG's biggest ever screen for a hospital - the 65-inch 4K Ultra HD model. It has LG’s NanoCell display technology, enabling it to display vivid pictures, and provides built-in support for hospital pillow speakers and embedded broadband LAN capability, so hospitals can deliver video on demand without requiring a separate set-top box in the patient room.
It also includes configuration software with an intuitive interface for setting up the TV to work in a hospital setting, plus a software-enabled access point feature that turns the TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The second TV screen is the 15-inch Personal Healthcare Smart Touch TV with a multi-touch screen. It is designed to be installed on an adjustable arm for use in shared spaces or smaller patient rooms and will support LG's new, modular LG AM-AC21EA video camera, and HD video communication.
Both include support for video conferencing, and are UL Certified for use in healthcare facilities, a global safety standard. They also feature LG’s integrated Pro:Centric hospital management solutions, allowing hospitals and LG’s patient engagement development partners to personalise a patient's room, providing entertainment, hospital information, services, patient education, and more.
Additionally its communication platform makes it possible to conduct video calls between patients and clinicians or family.
“Our newest LG hospital TVs reflect ongoing feedback from the industry and include capabilities integrated to meet the unique needs of a critical market” said Tom Mottlau, Director of Healthcare Solutions, LG Electronics USA.
“Our healthcare patient engagement development partners requested an upgradable version of webOS for our Pro:Centric smart TV platform so they could more easily introduce new features for their hospital customers. For the latest versions of webOS, LG worked closely with our partners to make their request a reality and to deliver a hospital TV platform that can evolve over time.”