Sustaining Hospital Financial Health: A Role for PA Leadership
Posted by Josanne K. PagelComment

LargeThumb.01720610-201505000-00001.FF1This article appears in the new May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Healthcare systems throughout the United States are looking at ways to consolidate services in order to reduce expenses yet maintain their quality of patient care. Process improvement, care pathways and using healthcare providers to the maximum of their license and scope of practice all play key roles in the ability of healthcare systems to preserve quality and sustain access to care.


In the last year, Cleveland Clinic has developed an initiative to review our systems and identify ways to enhance operations. The goal of this initiative is to put patients first and to make our services and care affordable while maintaining quality and safety. The initiative identifies ways to enhance efficiency by consolidating services and evaluating opportunities to reduce costs. One of the leaders of this initiative described the process this way: “The pathway to improving quality and safety is the same pathway to lowering costs while relentlessly taking waste and unnecessary variability out of our processes.”

More than 100 teams were created to look at every aspect of the medical operations (the indirect group looking at administrative operations) and clinical operations (assessing everything from ORs to imaging equipment). More than 1,000 healthcare providers from all over the system are participating on these teams.

Why is this necessary? Knowing that we must bring healthcare spending under control, every single provider must become involved in how to be more efficient in giving care, receiving less reimbursement, and doing more with fewer resources. We look at this initiative as a necessity to sustain our position of strength within the healthcare marketplace and still be a leader in quality and safety.

These teams have a goal of saving millions of dollars in the next three years. In the first year, our task forces identified many areas of cost savings that have been approved.

Read the rest of the article in JAAPA’s May issue.

Josanne K. Pagel is executive director of PA services at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.


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