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The clinic's experience is a microcosm of a larger movement in health care. Driven by tightening margins and increased pressure Converse Hi Tops Leather for positive outcomes, health systems nationwide are looking for ways to maximize resources and trim costs.
"Patients are not only getting to spend more time with the physician, they are getting to hear what he is dictating," clinic Converse Uk Trainers
"At first, I was skeptical about it (the lean analysis), but it works," he said. "You have to think outside the box, but it yields great results."
"This is on the agenda of lots of people throughout the organization as a high priority," Blue said.
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"The situation is changing dramatically," Litvak said. "When I started working with hospitals years ago, nobody pushed back. Everybody nodded and said, 'You're right.' And yet they didn't do anything, and most of the hospitals still don't."
manager Jamie Arens said.
Dr. Bryan Wellman (left) is assisted by Dr. Bradley Thaemert during a spinal surgery at Sanford Surgical Tower on the Sanford USD Medical Center campus.(Photo: Emily Spartz / Argus Leader)
In late 2012, waste in the national health care system was measured at $750 billion annually, according to Dr. Eugene Litvak, president and CEO of the Massachusetts based Institute for Healthcare Optimization.
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Without adding staff, the Avera Medical Group gynecologic oncologist spends 10 more minutes with each patient than he used to and leaves work two hours earlier.
"We were often stressed at our clinic and running late," he said. "Patients sometimes had to wait, and I was always behind on documentation."
The system's presidents and other top executives meet weekly to share information and update initiatives related to quality, patient care, financial issues and more.
The system set a goal of finding $100 million in efficiencies in its current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Much of the savings is coming through better supply chain management, Sanford executives said.
"Nobody wanted to hear about this," he said. "There was no financial pressure, no pressure on improving quality, why bother?"
Litvak started advocating for greater efficiency in health care in the mid 1990s when not many others were.
Health systems learn to be lean
In Sioux Falls, however, both health systems are prioritizing efficiency, and both say they're finding new opportunities to improve patient care along the way.
of entering orders and dictation at the end of the day, Rojas and other providers do the work in the room with the patient.
"We deliver the best care in the world, but can we do it better," Blue said. "Absolutely. There's waste and there's things we can do better."Sanford calls it "The Sanford Way." The system's approach to becoming more efficient involves the approaches of Kaizen and Six Sigma, tools used in business for process improvement, but the greater goal is to integrate continuous performance improvement into the culture.
"It's not just about cutting costs," said Dr. Dan Blue, president of Sanford Clinic at Sanford Health. "We do have to cut per unit costs, but we have to look at standardization, best practices. We have a very fragmented health care system, and that's where integration and coordination of care is so critical. It's not just for efficiencies. It's for best outcomes and eliminating errors and waste."
He now sees clients worldwide looking to improve their hospitals' performance.
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