3 Benefits of Working With a GPO - Efficiency

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3 Benefits of Working With a Hospital Group Purchasing Organization (GPO)

Across the United Sates, news of the rising cost of healthcare is spreading. The U.S. government reported that Americans spent $3.65 trillion on healthcare in 2018. This level of spending is by far the highest in the developed world, and there is an ongoing debate about why healthcare is so expensive and what can be done about it. In the 1980s, Congress took a look at Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and found that GPOs can help reduce healthcare costs for both the government and private health-care sectors.

What Is a...

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Bringing Big Data to Bear on Supply Chain Optimization

In 2020, supply chain costs are projected to surpass labor as the greatest expense for the average hospital. That’s why the supply chain continues to be a main focus of cost-reduction efforts. Moving forward, however, hospitals are making strategic and data-driven supply chain changes to bring about more effective care delivery. Gone are the days of relegating supply chain to a cost-reduction target. In fact, larger hospital systems have elevated the supply chain leader’s role to a C-level position, reflecting the sophistication required for an optimized supply chain.

Data-driven Supply...


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Integrating physical and mental healthcare

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Treating the Whole Person: Mental Health Integration

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By Jennifer Franklin, Chief Clinical Officer, Yoakum Community Hospital

Like many hospitals, Yoakum Community Hospital sees an uptick in patients receiving geropsychiatric services in winter. The holiday season is, therefore, a good time to talk about the mental health needs of this population. With the New Year approaching, it’s also a good time for hospitals to resolve to better address those needs, not just during the holidays but all throughout the year. Yoakum—a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital in rural South Central Texas—accomplishes this through integrated care, which...


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Social Determinants of Health

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Swimming Upstream: Meeting the Challenges of Social Determinants of Health

It’s been said that patients’ ZIP codes matter more than their genetic codes when it comes to health status. That’s because certain conditions in the places where people live, work, learn and play can pose greater health risks and poorer outcomes. In public health terms, these conditions are called social determinants of health or, sometimes, upstream determinants of health. Basically, the concept is that nonclinical factors influence health outcomes.

Scientific research has proven the concept holds. The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2014 examined rehospitalizations based on patients’ place of...


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How Unit Practice Councils Benefit the Hospital and Clinical Staff

Smaller hospitals may use overall nursing councils, but unit-based shared governance councils are a newer concept. Also known as unit practice councils, or UPCs, these formal groups representing each nursing unit are designed to involve frontline clinical staff in decision making. UPCs uphold the belief that no one understands staff and patient-care challenges better than the staff members themselves; hence, no one is better positioned to offer solutions.

At the organizational level, the benefits of UPCs include:

Increased employee engagement and satisfaction Improved patient care and satisfaction Increased efficiency through...

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Hospital Districts Provide Critical Financial Support for Community Hospitals

Stemming the closure rate of rural hospitals may depend in part on the financial support provided by hospital tax districts. This can be difficult to swallow for many who are reflexively against higher taxes. However, voters may come around when the case is made that a modest property- or sales-tax levy or hike could provide the necessary financial support to keep their hospital open and sustainable for their community.

Hospital Tax Districts Fill a Funding Gap

Tax districts help ensure the survival of hospitals that may be at risk of...


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Strategic Marketing for Rural Hospitals

In today’s competitive healthcare market, rural and community hospitals are making do with less. Marketing resources are no exception. It’s not uncommon for smaller hospitals to lack a formal marketing communications function yet still engage in conventional and creative marketing activities. At other hospitals, marketing is one of multiple hats worn by a single person. Case in point: The public relations coordinator who handles marketing for Yoakum Community Hospital—a 23-bed critical access hospital in Yoakum, Texas—also serves as executive assistant and medical staff coordinator, for a total of three formal...


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Lessons for Leaders of Distressed Hospitals

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By Anthony Sudduth, CEO, Southwest Health System

Last year, Southwest Health System (SHS), in Cortez, Colorado, found itself in the midst of a significant financial crisis. The hospital had violated bond covenants associated with a $32 million building project, failing to meet the 80 days cash-on-hand requirement for four consecutive quarters. This violation triggered technical default, which could have led to bankruptcy and closure. Instead, SHS acted swiftly and decisively, becoming not a cautionary tale but a comeback story and an inspiration.

The SHS turnaround is a bright...


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Overseeing Without Overstepping: The Board’s Role in Hospital Operations

To what degree should boards be involved in the finances and operations of their hospitals? This is an important question, because effective hospital boards are clear on their roles and responsibilities. That role is hospital governance while management is the responsibility of the hospital leadership team. That means board members must focus on strategy and leave operations to hospital leadership. Yet, it’s not only appropriate but also imperative that board members understand the finances and operations of their hospital.

That means board members must discern the financial situation; education about...


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5 Ways Rural Hospitals Are Beating the Odds

Rural hospitals are critical to the communities they serve, but in many areas their role is changing. Demographics tell the story. Patients tend to be older, and many are uninsured. Populations are declining. The decreases result in fewer inpatient admissions, but they have not reduced the need for emergency care or primary care physicians. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 20% of the U.S. population is rural, but only 12% of primary care physicians are working in rural areas — and their numbers per capita are declining.

All of these...


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