Healthcare News & Insights

8 ideas to reduce hospital waste

Whether it’s because of the economy or just having good business goals, more hospitals are looking to cut waste in ways big and small.

It’s a smart move. Some experts calculate that up to 50% of all health care spending could be categorized as “waste,” because it doesn’t provide any benefit for patients. And it adds up — to roughly $1 trillion per year.

This article from Hospital & Health Networks showcases the eight types of waste, and some of the most common examples in hospitals.

  • Defects — lost or mislabeled laboratory specimens
  • Overproduction — medications sent to inpatient units in 24-hour batches which can create waste if  the dosing orders change
  • Transportation — having to move patients a long distance from the operating room to recovery
  • Waiting — excessive waits for a patient to get an appointment or be seen in the emergency department
  • Inventory — overstocking or poor inventory management leading to some supplies expiring before use
  • Motion — staffers having to walk too much because high-use surgical instruments and packs aren’t  grouped together
  • Processing — staff re-entering the same patient information multiple times into different forms or databases
  • Human potential — staff members unengaged in improvement activities

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