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Your Meetings are Wasting Big Money

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, December 20, 2013

I'd be willing to bet that a substantial portion of you are avoiding preparing for a meeting by reading this.

Meeting Come with Side Effects
Meetings are not included in that waste estimate, says Shore, but they should be. With human capital costs (salaries and benefits) hovering around 40–70% of overall hospital expenditures, human capital greatly exceeds supply chain costs as the second largest hospital expense, he says.

"Meetings are like medicine. They often come with side effects," he says. "Any unplanned economy produces vast examples of waste."

Furthermore, Shore estimates that on average, it costs a hospital $1,400 to hold a one-hour meeting. There is no bigger waster of organizational resources, Shore says.

"When I talk about that average of $1,400, that's a very conservative number because it's the direct cost of salary and benefits," says Shore. "If you add opportunity costs in there (the lost opportunity to do surgery, for example, during that time), that number is easily eclipsed. Take that number and multiply by the hundreds or thousands of meetings that take place in a hospital or health system in the course of a week, and you're wasting a lot of money."

But there's good news, he says. Everyone else dislikes meetings as much as Shore does. That means it's relatively easy to get traction on meeting reduction because there are no "champions."

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2 comments on "Your Meetings are Wasting Big Money"


Jen Twiss (1/3/2014 at 10:36 AM)
Great article!

Ron Pion MD (1/2/2014 at 8:27 PM)
Use Zoom.us to assist in cutting meetings