Cost Containment in Nursing

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Introduction The cost of health care in Trinidad and Tobago in steadily increasing according to the Budget Highlights 2011/2012, $4.7 billion dollars is to be projected for Health Care. As a Registered Nurse working in the health care institutions of Trinidad and Tobago, as discussed in Ellis and Hartley 2010, you are expected to understand the issues surrounding cost and become an active participant in managing health care resources. This health care resource comprises buildings, equipment, supplies, personnel and time as expressed by Ellis and Hartley, (2010). All members of the health care team must become active champions of cost containment and conscious consumers of resources in order to maximize their usage. (Ellis, 2010) As a…show more content…
This work group according to Brady, Cornett and DeLetter (1998), must develop several initial cost-reduction strategies including: (a) increasing employees' cost awareness through education, (b) identifying and eliminating costly habits, (c) making the most cost-effective decisions possible, (d) recycling, and (e) reducing unnecessary inventory. Recognizing that an enormous impact could be made by decreasing supplies, procedures for obtaining equipment and supplies were carefully examined. As discussed in Brady, Cornett and DeLetter (1998), a number of changes were implemented in the day-to-day methods for obtaining and stocking supplies so that excessive stock on units was reduced. In a pilot project, all items that could either be reduced in number or eliminated from unit storage areas were identified. In particular, expensive equipment not used for emergencies was removed. The costs of commonly used items were displayed and nurses were encouraged to make cost-effective choices of the equipment they used. Examples of these efforts included: Implementing the FIFO concept First in First Out, what was found was that supplies were ordered and stocked and nurses when taking supplies for patient care just took from any shelf or box that was near, what was proposed was that the shelves in the store room be organized by expiry dates so as to avoid wastage and over stocking, supplies were labeled and packed according to expiry dates and the nurses
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