Modern Healthcare Staff
Former Editorial Program Manager/ChicagoSee All Staff Page
In 2012, roughly 12% of the food that the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics prepared went into the garbage. Faced with that sobering statistic—and a scathing article in a local newspaper about food waste at the hospital—the health system's leaders decided to make serious changes.
When the leaders of Akron (Ohio) Children's Hospital faced a pressing question as they began planning a new facility to house their neonatal intensive-care unit, outpatient surgery and other growing service lines, they turned to Lean Six Sigma methods for aid in their decision-making.
Experts who have studied human trafficking say a victim's most promising lifeline could be a healthcare provider. That's why a number of hospitals and health systems around the country have launched training programs for their staff on how to identify and treat trafficking victims.
After several highly publicized cases of theft of controlled substances by healthcare workers in Minnesota, state health department officials approached the state hospital association with a plan. While there are no precise statistics about the prevalence of drug theft in healthcare facilities, experts agree it's a pervasive problem.
Despite ample research showing the benefits of using mechanical patient-handling equipment such as overhead lifts, workers at many hospitals and nursing homes still are hoisting and moving patients the old-fashioned way. But that isn't true at the VA Loma Linda (Calif.) Healthcare System.
Throughout the 1990s, Dr. Fred Rubin tried a variety of strategies to prevent elderly patients from experiencing the sudden onset of stress and confusion known as delirium, which often occurs during a hospital stay. Then in 1999, Rubin saw a New England Journal of Medicine article touting the benefits of the Hospital Elder Life Program, or HELP.
For more than a decade, Beebe Healthcare, a 155-bed not-for-profit hospital in Lewes, Del., assigned executive compensation duties to the hospital board's executive committee. But more than a year ago, at the urging of a consultant, Beebe decided to make a change.
Lahey Health, an integrated system covering northeastern Massachusetts, routes most patients to its community hospitals and reserves its tertiary academic medical center for the most complex cases, an approach many experts say is key to controlling costs.