As we move into the New Year, thanks to increasing reimbursement rates from private insurers, the future looks bright for for-profit hospitals, which are likely to see a 2.5 percent to 3 percent growth rate in 2018. But for not-for-profit and public healthcare facilities, the horizon looks a little dimmer as they continue to grapple with the same fiscal challenges as last year. Despite good inpatient volume, for these facilities, revenue growth is likely to plummet in the months ahead as spending continues to climb. This is according to a 2018 outlook report by Moody’s Investor Service which says low government reimbursement rates — which accounted for 61 percent of gross patient revenue in 2016 — clinical staff shortages, labor costs, bad debt, escalating insurance deductibles and co-pays, and increased spending on essential technology all play a role. However, it’s essential technology that could also play a role in leading healthcare providers closer to the light.
“The main benefit of tracking instruments and surgical supplies is to effectively tackle human errors. Be it missing or failed instruments, ultimately RSI, the root causes are the same and directly impact patient safety,” said Michel Gillmann, Marketing Director, Xerafy. “A performing surgical instrument tracking (SIT) allows for a fully automated tracking throughout the OR and reprocessing. It gives visibility to all stakeholders and ensures automatic data capture at each control point, with minimum impact on your staff. In the absence of such a system, you will find that your patients are at risk, not to mention your processes, reputation and revenues.
“Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a pretty large facility and they came up with some compelling numbers,” continued Gillmann. “Out of the 75,000 surgeries they perform per year, they estimated they could save a total of 31,000 hours in the OR, based on automated and error-free surgical counts. Add in the costs of lost instruments and other waste, and you quickly reach a few millions in potential savings for an average hospital. On the revenue side, you are looking at minimizing the impact of missing instruments on your OR schedule and faster turnover time for your surgical suites. Rigshospitalet put the number at up to 10,000 additional surgeries a year.
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