Cutting costs at the hospital

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    Cutting costs at the hospital

    From: Administration
    Re: Hospital Costs

    In an effort to reduce costs this year, the
    following are effective immediately. Please
    share this information with your patients
    and physicians as soon as possible.

    1. Food service will be discontinued
    immediately. Patients wishing to eat will
    want to get their families to bring them a
    brown bag meal, or you may make your own
    arrangements with Subway, Dominoes, etc.
    Coin-operated telephones will be available
    in patient rooms for this purpose.

    2. Our PBX operators have all been let go,
    so if you are walking through the lobby and
    hear the telephone ringing, please answer it.

    3. We have found it necessary to make
    substantial reductions in our transport
    team so we ask the cooperation of all
    patients. One transporter will take at
    least six patients in wheelchairs at a
    time to Radiology, PT and other services.
    Please form a "train" by holding tightly
    on to the handles of the wheelchair in
    front of you.

    4. Our Emergency Room is really busy from
    3 PM to 11 PM so, if you can, please have
    your accidents and heart attacks in the
    mornings or early afternoons. That would
    really help to reduce your wait.

    5. To expedite surgery cases, all AM admits
    and outpatient surgery patients are asked to
    be at the hospital 3 hours prior to surgery.
    Go to Central Sterile Supply, pick up a clean
    instrument tray & surgery pack and proceed to
    the Surgery Holding area. To help us reduce
    drug costs, please take several Aleve prior
    to arriving at the hospital for surgery.

    6. Patients anticipating the need for a bedpan
    can check one out in the gift shop. They will
    be available in a wide variety of colors and
    styles to meet the aesthetic and physical
    requirements of our patients. A deposit will
    be required but is fully refundable if bedpans
    are returned clean.

    7. To reduce patients' lengths of stay,
    nurses will have a choice of using in-line
    skates or skateboards. To expedite response
    to patient's needs and discharges, nurse call
    systems will be modified and will be wired to
    a collar worn by nurses, which will deliver a
    mild shock when pushed by the patient.

    8. Taking a cue from the airlines, Respiratory
    Therapists will be replaced by oxygen masks
    which will, should the need arise, automatically
    drop from the ceiling over patient beds. If
    this occurs, please place the mask over your
    nose and mouth and breathe normally.

    9. The hospital got a real sweet deal on
    surplus white waiters' jackets and these
    will be issued to all physicians. Doctors,
    we apologize in advance because the jackets
    already had a first name embroidered on the
    pocket. We will work with you to find a
    name that you can live with. If you also
    are on the staff at the University Hospital,
    we hope this won't be a problem. We recognize
    that in academic settings, "length of coat
    status" is very important.

    10. All first time moms are asked to
    volunteer to help out on the Pediatrics
    floor - not only will this reduce hospital
    costs, but it will give you a much needed
    experience and a dose of reality after ogling
    over your own precious sleeping bundle of joy.

    11. Housekeeping and physical therapy are being
    combined. Mops will be issued to those patients
    who are ambulatory, thus providing range-of-motion
    exercises as well as a clean environment. Family
    members and friends of patients and ambulatory
    patients may also sign up to clean public areas
    to receive special discounts on their final
    bills. Time cards will be provided.

    12. Plant operations and Engineering are being
    eliminated. The hospital has subscribed to the
    TIME-LIFE "How to..." series of maintenance
    books. These books can be checked out from
    administration and a toolbox will be standard
    equipment on all nursing units. We will be
    receiving the series at a rate of one volume
    every other month. We already have the volume
    on Basic Wiring, but if a non-electrical problem
    occurs, please try to handle it as best as you
    can until the appropriate volume arrives.

    13. Cutbacks in the phlebotomy staff will be
    accommodated by only performing blood-related
    lab tests on patients who are already bleeding.

    14. Physicians will be informed that they may
    order no more than two x-rays per patient stay.
    This is due to the turnaround time required by
    Walgreen's photo lab. Two prints will be
    provided for the price of one, and physicians
    are being advised to clip coupons from the
    Sunday paper if they want extra sets.
    Walgreen's will honor all competitors' coupons
    for one-hour processing in emergency situations,
    so if you come across coupons from other vendors,
    please clip them and send them to the Emergency
    Department.

    15. In light of the extremely hot summer
    temperature and the high A/C bills that we
    received last summer, out new policy is to have
    fans available for sale or lease in the hospital
    gift shop. For those patients who do not wish
    to use electric fans, the old reliable hand held
    cardboard fans on a stick are free upon request.

    16. The cost of hospital gowns continues to
    escalate so patients are asked to bring their
    own pajama top which nurses will be happy to
    slit up the back for you. Pajama bottoms are
    not permitted on patient units.

    17. On the way to the hospital, please stop by
    Target or Wal-Mart and pick up two sets of
    twin bed sheets. Should you require extra
    linens during your stay, coin- operated
    washers and dryers are available for patient
    use.

    18. Administration is assuming responsibility
    for grounds keeping duties. If an Administrator
    cannot be reached by calling the Administrative
    Offices, it is suggested that you walk outside
    and listen for the sound of a lawn mower,
    weed-whacker, etc.

    19. All patients scheduled for a mammogram are
    to stop first at "Hooters" for a preliminary
    check out.

    If you have any questions regarding these cost
    cutting measures, please let us know. Thank
    you for your cooperation.

    ############################################

    From: The Staff
    To: Administration
    Re: Hospital Cost-Cutting Policy

    The allergists voted to scratch it.
    The dermatologists preferred no rash moves.
    The gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it.
    The microsurgeons were thinking along the same vein.
    The neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve.
    The obstetricians stated they were laboring under a misconception.
    The ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.
    The orthopedists issued a joint resolution.
    The parasitologists said, "well, if you encyst."
    The pathologists yelled, "over my dead body!"
    The pediatricians said, "grow up."
    The proctologists said, "we are in arrears."
    The psychiatrists thought it was madness.
    The surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
    The radiologists could see right through it.
    The internists thought it was a hard pill to swallow.
    The plastic surgeons said, "this puts a whole new face on the matter."
    The podiatrists thought it was a big step forward.
    The D.O.s thought they were being manipulated.
    The urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water.
    The anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas.
    The cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.
    And the otologists were deaf to the idea.

    The new policy didn't fly!

    (at first!)


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