Healthcare is shedding jobs, the credit crunch is forcing facilities to defer projects and long-term economics outlooks are bleak. You can take advantage of this unchartered territory with some cost-saving measures.

LEAN Practices

As I wrote last month (Three Reasons to Think Lean in These Economic Times), a slow economy is a good time to evaluate LEAN practices in your facility. If you’ve found yourself with unused or vacant space, this may be even easier to start.

Begin by a careful evaluation of all of your space. How much do you realistically need? Is there the flexibility for a more efficient layout? Would relocating a waiting room allow you to close off an unused area? Are nurse stations conveniently located in proximity to patient rooms? Could surgical recovery rooms be closer to surgery suites? Consult with your staff and start thinking outside the box.

Increase Efficiency

Increasing efficiency is more critical than ever and there is financial pressure to streamline and save money. Yet, you don’t have to go this alone – you have a great staff as well as smart colleagues who work in the facilities you manage. Talk with them to get buy-in on ideas that can help everyone – ask everyone three questions.

1) How can we increase efficiencies?

2) Where are you seeing practices that waste energy?

3) What are the technological advances you’d like to see happen first?

Answers will vary depending on who you talk with, yet you may uncover some routine or idea that leads to increasing efficiencies for your facility.