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Really?…are you kidding me?

July 20, 2012

Of all the roles I’ve had in healthcare over the 37 year span of my career, I can say, for sure, the view of the system from a staff nurses point of view was the most honest. As a staff nurse there is really no reason to “color the truth” or “put a spin” on anything. You basically, “call’em like ya see’em”. And that was reinforced today when I read one of my favorite nursing bloggers posts on Emergiblog.

The post titled “Will Work for Half and Half” is a must read. It is the purest example of a hospital administrations laser focus on cost savings to the exclusion of common sense. And a seriously funny response on the part of the ER staff to the foolishness. Basically, hospital administration stopped providing employees and patients with Half and Half for coffee and provided a less costly substitute – Coffee-Mate!

At first, on reading the story, I thought it was a Bloomberg-esque type initiative to trade out one man’s interpretation of a bad calorie for a good calorie. But I was wrong. The organization wasn’t in New York City and the reason for the banning of Half and Half was purely a cost cutting measure.

I don’t know about you, but I can think of a few other ways to cut costs. And actually, I think there are opportunities to cut even more costs than the distribution of Half and Half represents.

Not trying to be radical here, but do you think managing unnecessary Overtime or Agency usage might save a few bucks? What about absence management? Do you think there’s any money to be had there? Just a few things to consider…let’s get a cup of coffee and talk about some other radical labor management ideas I have…pass the Coffee-Mate will you…

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