Published Aug 6, 2002
Cutting costs at the hospital
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
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
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,
19. All patients scheduled for a mammogram are
to stop first at "Hooters" for a preliminary
If you have any questions regarding these cost
cutting measures, please let us know. Thank
you for your cooperation.
From: The Staff
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!
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