The finance game Success Story
The finance game participants generate $3.6+ million in additional revenue per year for a Denver Exempla hospital, while possibly saving more lives!
PROBLEM: While collaborating in a the finance game, a group of nurse administrators at an Exempla Hospital in Denver took on one of the hot issues that was plaguing the VP of Finance. Their hospital was turning away, and diverting to other hospitals, too many ambulances during the day. This especially seemed problematic during and just after the lunch hour. They had to divert these ambulances because the ER was often too full and there were no ER beds available to take acute care patients.
OBJECTIVE: If the hospital could take just ONE additional ambulance per day, it would generate approximately $3.6 million in additional revenue to the hospital per year after payer deductions AND possibly save more lives. The Corporate Cash Flow Game participants started brainstorming on how to increase efficiency in the ER.
ANALYSIS: The ER was diverting ambulances because all the ER beds were full. Why? The ER beds were full because the people who were finished with emergency treatment were waiting to be admitted to the hospital but weren’t being taken up to the wards. Why? They weren’t being taken up to the wards because there were no empty and cleaned rooms available. Why? There were no empty rooms available because the patients who were waiting to go home hadn’t been discharged by the doctors yet, hadn’t received their discharge paperwork yet (which usually happened around noon), or weren’t getting picked up by their families on time. Some also wanted to wait and have lunch before leaving. The rooms that were empty weren’t being cleaned and readied for new patients. Why? The empty rooms weren’t being cleaned, disinfected, and turned over for new patients, especially during lunch time, because most of the housekeeping staff were friends and liked to eat together at the same time. When they got back from lunch, there was usually a backlog of rooms waiting to be cleaned.
SOLUTIONS: Start the discharge process and paperwork much sooner during the patients' stay. Communicate with the families to confirm the scheduled pick up time. Send patients home with a lunch “to go.” Stagger the lunch breaks for the housekeeping staff so there is always a team working over lunch.
RESULT: The hospital is accepting all ambulances and there is no longer an ambulance divert problem! More acute care patients are being served more quickly, possibly saving lives.
ROI: Each additional ambulance per day adds $3.6 million net to the hospital’s top line per year. Way to go finance game participants!