Subject: Hospital Cutbacks
To: All Staff
Re: HMO 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 the 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 for a +ACI-train+ACI- 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 be helpful and will help to reduce your wait.
5. To expedite surgery cases, all AM admits and outpatient surgery patients are asked to report to the hospital 3 hours prior to surgery. Go to Central Sterile and 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 on our 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’ length 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. ll 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, our 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 2 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. If you have any questions regarding these cost-cutting measures, please let us know.
Thank you for your cooperation.