Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Top 10 hospital challenges

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Every one of us could conceivably land in the hospital next year, whether it's an ER visit for a few stitches or a longer illness. As a potential future customer, you should be aware of current problems facing hospitals. The management consulting firm, Tefen USA, identifed the Top 10 Healthcare Challenges in 2008, and how hospital administrators are tackling them -- here is a sampling:

  • Emergency Department chronic overcrowding will produce wait times reaching unsupportable levels. One solution is specialized treatment centers for non-urgent patients.
  • Demand for greater transparency will have Medicare/Medicaid, insurance companies, employers and patients looking hard at hospital data. Hospital boards will focus more strongly on measuring performance. Wouldn't it be nice if a hospital handed you an itemized estimate of costs just like your auto repair shop?
  • Scheduled births, defensive medicine and a sharp drop in VBACs (vaginal birth after conception) are driving the continued rise in cesareans and induced births. As a result, hospitals are faced with slow patient turnover and less bed availability. As I was wheeled to a suburban hospital room after the birth of my first child, I'll never forget all the pregnant moms lying on gurneys up and down the hallway. I'm guessing whoever pushed out their baby first scored a room.

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