Improving Efficiency

 Published: April 17, 2019

By: Heather Willden


image of gear cogs with EFFECIENCY and other business terms written on them

Hospital departments have many moving parts and ensuring each and every one of them runs as efficiently as possible can be a challenge.

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AARC member William Holland, MS, RRT, FAARC, who serves as director of the cardiovascular service line at Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, VA, believes the best way to identify inefficiencies in any department is to turn to the people most responsible for patient care.

“Ask and listen to your frontline staff,” advised Holland. “Compare what you hear to benchmarks.”

Benchmarks can serve as goals for your department to work toward, and Holland says they can most often be found from professional organizations.

He believes talking with other department managers can help too — particularly those that do similar procedures and may be facing (or have possibly already solved) similar problems.

Holland’s tips

William Holland has these four tips for increasing efficiency —

  1. Know your budgets in every detail; stay on top of them every month at the very least. Oftentimes you will receive projected budgets. Do not accept them unless you believe they are realistic.
  2. Every day make sure charges are reviewed by frontline staff and rejected or late charges are fixed. Use these as face-to-face times to educate staff on how they can reduce low census time, etc.
  3. Report out-of-productivity and budget month-to-date (MTD) and year-to-date (YTD) data at staff meetings. Change the format to educate staff on the cost of supplies and labor. This is also a great time to explain national trends.
  4. On a monthly basis, review budgets MTD and YTD and assure expenses are accurate. Review productivity weekly (or maybe even daily). Teach staff how the calculation works.

Following these simple tips can increase efficiency and help ensure your staff is performing to the best of their abilities.

Want to learn more about benchmarking and how it can benefit your department? Check out the AARC’s Benchmarking 2.0.

Email with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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