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Cutting with Care

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 13, 2013
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Michael D. Williams
President and CEO
Community Hospital Corporation,
Plano, Texas

So many folks say if one hospital has X number of FTEs per adjusted occupied bed, then another hospital can have the same. That is really not true. It needs to be hospital specific relative to what areas have the opportunities for improvement in process, maintenance, or clinical outcomes and a reduction in costs.

Second, any time there is any level of reduction in an organization, it is so important—maybe the most important factor—to be transparent with the medical staff and the community and the hospital employee population about why this reduction is necessary.

Along the way, celebrate success. When those goals are met, in some fashion it is important to acknowledge the role that the staff has had in achieving the results. To have some type of low-key celebration or whatever is appropriate that says, "We are in this together, we recognize the contributions you have made, now let's celebrate this success."

Also, you have to take the time and not just say "We had a bad month and so consequently we are going to have to cut something," but what are the trends in that particular institution that say we have to do something differently? Is it reaction to something happening in the industry? Or is it specific to the strategic financial plan of the organization that is being looked at?

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