Defining Productivity – Part Two

by | Aug 8, 2011

OK – Where were we?  Oh yeah:

  • Healthcare productivity is unique from other industries.
  • It involves patient care.
  • It is something to be balanced.

That’s where we stopped.  At the “What’s the balance?” part.

So you remember that productivity always has a workforce & dollars component, right? That is the other part of the equation.

Productivity in healthcare is balancing your workforce labor dollars with the provided patient care.

That’s sounds a little vague and esoteric. Let’s say it again a different way:

Productivity in healthcare is providing the best possible patient care with the least amount of labor dollars.

Or better yet:

Productivity in healthcare is paying the least amount of labor dollars without sacrificing patient care.

Wait a minute.  Read it again.  Now…ouch!

Doesn’t sound like such a happy thing, does it? No one wants to think about “patient care” as something that can be arbitrarily made worse just to save money – especially if that patient is YOU!

But, at the same, soaring healthcare costs get a lot of attention and not in a good way. And providing it-could-not-possibly-be-any-better patient care has a high cost thanks to, among other things, lots of nurses and staff who all need to be paid.

So healthcare organizations strive to find that balance. The goal is: Maintaining quality patient care while keeping the cost of healthcare down.

And THAT is the balance that is “healthcare productivity”.

We’re going to explore that concept quite a bit as we talk about workforce management in this blog. What do you think about healthcare productivity? Comment below or email me directly.

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