Are Food Service Operations Giving Your Bottom Line Heartburn?

If you’re a hospital administrator looking for cost savings, just follow your nose to the cafeteria. Among those cheeseburgers and tossed salads, your hospital cafeteria probably offers more savings opportunities than you imagined: Consider that the cost of food and food-related services in a hospital or health care system can represent between 8% and 12% of your annual purchased services spend. More

Sand Bags and Hot Air: A Closer Look at Hospital Margins

In the summer of 1783, two brothers from a French family of paper manufacturers, after noticing ash rising in paper fires, gave their first public demonstration of a balloon using hot air for buoyancy. On Aug. 27 of the same year, in a Paris field where the Eiffel Tower now stands, a crowd of onlookers that included Benjamin Franklin cheered the release of the world’s first hydrogen balloon. The unmanned balloon drifted north for 45 minutes before descending in a nearby village... More

Specialty Pharmacy: A Revenue Center in Disguise


Here’s a scenario: Department leaders across the health system are meeting to look for untapped sources of incremental revenue. They hope to find a traditional cost center that could become a strategic asset. An added bonus would be if it also enabled them to gain influence over patient care after discharge. Any ideas? I have one — specialty pharmacy.


4 Common Characteristics of Successful Clinical Improvement

For more than a decade at Vizient, we have been studying top performers in cost, quality and outcomes. My colleagues and I spend a lot of time talking with hospital executives and ambulatory care professionals across the country about the strategies, tactics and behaviors that help them truly accomplish the goals they want to achieve. And perhaps more importantly, the factors that differentiate top performers. Surprisingly, factors such as the number of staff, if state-of-the-art technologies... More

5 Ways to Reduce Unwanted Variations in Clinical Processes

Unwanted variability in clinical processes is a pervasive, intractable problem in virtually every hospital and is adversely affecting outcomes, patient satisfaction, operational efficiency, performance measures and costs. Consider these studies that have shown: More

Breaking the Opioid Prescribing Cycle through Stewardship

In 2015, 90 people died each day from an opioid overdose. If you subtract deaths attributed to heroin and synthetic opioids, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl, the number drops to 42 deaths per day. That is still 42 deaths daily from drugs that were prescribed by a licensed health care professional. How did we get here? More

Driving Clinical Improvement Needs More Than Data

I want to dispel a common myth: the myth that there is not enough data or enough of the right data to accomplish meaningful clinical improvement. The fact is we have enough data to reach the ultimate pursuit: reducing clinical variation and improving quality at the same time. The key is having the right amount of the right data. This means having data that is transparent, comes with the ability to drill down substantially and includes comparable benchmarks. A single source of truth More

Weathering the Storm: Advance Preparation Helps Avoid Patient Care Disruption


The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been anything but merciful to the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico with the recent devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. While we had warning they were coming, other natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and wildfires can strike with little or no warning. Obviously, we can’t avoid natural disasters completely, but hospital leaders and staff must prepare for them.


Save Lives from Sepsis

Sepsis is the most common, costly and deadly diagnosis in U.S. hospitals, with one sepsis patient being diagnosed every 20 seconds. More people die from sepsis than from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. Yet only a little more than half of American adults have even heard of sepsis. So what is it exactly? Sepsis is a body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. Severe sepsis is diagnosed when a patient has an infection plus additional signs of... More

Playing Hot Potato with Device Cost Management

In a dynamic similar to the childhood game, hot potato, it seems that no side – payers, hospitals or suppliers – wants to be stuck alone at the end managing the high cost of care in the joint reconstruction market. Like kids playing the game, everyone is doing what they can to shift the hot potato of cost management elsewhere. In a webinar broadcast earlier this month, I shared what this game of hot potato looks like and other findings from the Vizient Technology Watch, Volume 2,... More