Laboratory Making Small Changes that Add Up
- Crozer-Keystone Hospital Laboratories has added up to over $1 million in just two years.
- As part of the 2010 fiscal year, one of the laboratories’ goals was to reduce blood product costs. In the past two years, blood product costs were reduced by 13 percent.
- Staff productivity was the second part of the laboratories’ project. Using the metrics developed by an outside company, the laboratories’ productivity was measured against FY09 and a labor savings of $834,770 was documented in FY10.
“A penny saved is a penny earned.” In the case of the
Crozer-Keystone Hospital Laboratories, a penny saved has added up to over $1
million in just two years. Through changes within the department and the
efforts of the Laboratory team, they have been successful in increasing
productivity and reducing blood product costs.
As part of the 2010 fiscal year, one of the Laboratories’ goals
was to reduce blood product costs. Their first step was to shop around for more
than one blood supplier. It had been routine in the southeast Pennsylvania
region to use only one blood supplier and, as a result, there was no
competitive pricing. “We projected our costs for FY10 to be nearing 6 million
dollars a year, and we knew it was time to consider other alternatives. It was
in the best interest of the hospitals to evaluate other sources for our blood
products,” says Nancy Bristol, administrative director of the Crozer-Keystone
Other key aspects of controlling blood product costs were to look
at the utilization of blood products and inventory management as a system-wide
initiative. “The entire team from all the hospitals was receptive to figuring
out what worked and what did not work,” says Susan McAneny, associate
administrative director of the Crozer-Keystone Hospital Laboratories. “We were
able to change the physician ordering practices in some cases and convert to
less expensive products that are just as effective for our patients. Our final
goal was to manage the inventories of the hospitals as a team by working
smarter and transporting products between our sites.”
McAneny says that within the past two years, blood product costs
were reduced by 13 percent. “We were able to realize such a savings because we
obtained a majority of our blood products in FY10 and nearly all our products
in FY11 from a blood bank in a more competitive market, the New York Blood
Center. That change, in addition to the utilization and inventory management
improvements, allowed us to reach our goal,” she says.
Staff productivity was the second part of the Laboratories’ project.
Using metrics developed by an outside company, the laboratories’ productivity
was measured against FY09 and a labor savings of $834,770 was documented in
FY10. The savings have continued to increase in FY11. In addition, when the
laboratory tests per total paid hour for FY10 were compared to a national
database of hospital systems with similar volumes and test complexity, CKHS was
in the 91.6 percentile for productivity.
“Our goal was to increase productivity and volume and we did
both,” says Suzanne Battaglia, director of Crozer-Keystone’s Project Management
Office. Productivity isn’t the only avenue that impacted labor utilization.
Increasing outpatient testing from the physicians in the health care network
also contributed greatly to the productivity.
“Most importantly, success in any department is a team effort. We
all work together to help figure out how to be more productive, where there are
savings opportunities, and where we need to make improvements,” says Bristol.