The patient access team at Skagit Valley Hospital has many goals as it works through this economic recession: Sustain morale, maintain trust, minimize criticism, and acknowledge success.
Michele Hill, CHAM, patient access manager at the Mount Vernon, WA, facility, knows it's not easy considering what the hospital faces:
"Our facility, like many others, is facing significant challenges during this time of economic downturn," Hill says.
To cope, leaders at Skagit Valley asked managers like Hill to provide a 5% and 10% reduction plan. Originally, it was a "what-if" scenario. Economic woes, however, made it a reality, and Hill and other managers were forced to trim 5%.
So she went to work in several key areas:
"Other processes have been evaluated," Hill says, "and utilizing lean methods, we have found many ways to reduce waste that while not in the hundreds of thousands of dollar savings, are adding up to make a significant difference."